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A surge in the demand 

for sustainable building 

products finds VCU 

alumni ahead of the curve 

Virginia Co 


II 2007 




Once considered a commuter school, 
today Virginia Commonwealth University offers an attractive and 
vibrant residential campus environment, with housing for more 
than 4,700 students. One of 16 residence halls located on VCU's 
two campuses, Brandt Hall houses freshmen in suite-style living. 
Built in 2005. the 17-story building shares a common entrance 
with Rhoads Hall and supplies students with furnished, Internet- 
ready rooms, a computer lab, TV lounge and 24/7 security. 

Student housing: 2007 



lO > Building green 

Before being eco-friendly became trendy, Virginia 
Commonwealth University alumni were already 
designing and building with the environment in mind. 

16 > Real TV by real students 

Students put their own spin on reality TV through 
VCU TV/HD, one of the first student-run TV 
operations to produce high-definition programming. 

18 > Campus connections 

More than 40O alumni returned to campus in April 
to relive memories, renew friendships and obsei^e 
the university's growth and development. 

22 > VCU reaches new heights with $162,856,127 

Even before the Campaign for VCU closed, the 
dollars raised were making an enormous, positive 
impact on the Monroe Park Campus. 


2 >■ Circa 

Student housing: 2007. 

5 ^ University news 

Noteworthy news and research at VCU. 

24 ^ The hig picture 

The men's basketball team captures the CAA 

26 > Face to face 

Mary Ellen Mercer, the consummate storyteller, 
shares hers. 

27 ^ My college town 

Nonprofit brings extraordinary events 
to Richmond. 

28 ■' Snapshots 

Photos from alumni events. 

30 > Class notes 

News about alumni, faculty, staff and friends. 

4-1 ^ Then and now 

Technology brings news to the masses and changes 
education in the process. 

42 > Datebook 

Upcoming university and alumni events. 

43 > Circa 

Student housing: 1970s. 

VCUAA president tackles growth plan 

"Increasing the influence and impact of 
our alumni in support of students, faculty 
and the broader community is important, " 
shares Dan Massey (B.S. '92/B), newly elected 
president of the Virginia Commonwealth 
University Alumni Association. With alumni 
membership growth and retention key to 
meeting these objectives. Massey plans to 
build upon the great past work of the alumni 
association and harness the excitement and 
energy that is much a part of the university's 

Massey brings an infectious enthusiasm 
and sense of order to his board leadership 
that reflects his keen business sense, rooted 
in VCU undergraduate training that led to 
a degree in business and his current role as 
senior vice president at SunTrust Mortgage. 
Managing implementations of new business 
processes and systems for a rapidly growing, top 10 mortgage company is no small task. Yet it is 
all in a day's work for Massey whose way is all business. 

Throughout more than 10 years in business, Massey has held a variety of marketing and technology 
customer-centered positions at SunTrust. He is a graduate of the Mortgage Bankers Association's 
Future Leaders Program and School of Mortgage Banking. 

Massey kicked off his presidency of the 28-member alumni board with a summer planning 
session. The PowerPoint presentation, newsprint covering the walls, felt-tip pens. Post-it notes and 
brainstorming sessions brought a synergy and a sense of movement. Massey exudes a teaming spirit , 
key to the university building on its ranking as one of the nation's foremost academic institutions. 

Postmarks: comments and opinions from VCU alumni and friends 

Job well done. I just received your redesigned 
alumni magazine and think it looks fabulous. 1 am 
happy to see that you have taken advantage of some 
of your gifted designers up there at VCU. Please 
send my congratulations to the staff and make 
sure they enter the CASE Awards for publication 
redesign and magazine improvement. You 
shoiJd be very proud of the job they have done. It 
definitely made me stop and take a closer look. 

Melissa V. Pinard. editor. William and Mary Alumni 

Editor's note: Shafer Court Connections won 
regional recognition from the Council for 
Advancement and Support of Education. The 
magazine's redesign earned an Award of 
Excellence in the District III 2006 competition 
in the "Magazine Publishing Improvement" cat- 
egory. Entries were judged on content, writing, 
editing, design, photography, printing and use 
of resources. 

Field hockey fan. I just received my fall addition 
of Shafer Court Connections in the mail. As a 
former assistant field hockey coach and 
assistant athletic director at VCU, I enjoyed seeing 
the field hockey photos. 

Bridget E. Lyons. Ph.D. (M.Ed.'gi: Ph.D.04/E). 
Miami Shores. Fla. 

Anthony Brozna 
(B.F.A. '97) holding 
a sheet of bamboo 
plywood that he 
used lo build eco- 
friendly chairs. 

m welt-managed 
'ed sources and 
recycled wood Of fiber 
www.fscorg Cert no. SW-COC-002351 
;t Stewardship Council 

Fall 2007 • Volume 13, Number I 
www. vcu-mcvalumni, org; 

Executive Director, 
VCU Alumni Association 
Diane Stout-Brown (B.S.W. '8o) 


Kristen Caldwell (B.S. '94/MC) 

Trina Lambert 

Linda George 


Editorial: ]ennii<tT Carmean (B.S. '98/H&S), 
Kelli Craig, Teri Dunnivant, Erin Egan, 
Polly Roberts, Melanie Irvin Solaimani 
(B.S. 'ge/MC), Kim Witt 

Design: Pamela Arnold (B.F.A. '87), Nathan 
Hanger (B.S. 'oi/MC), Haley HoUenbach 
(B.F.A. '01). Katie McBride (B.F.A. '04), 
Matthew Phillips (M.F.A. '87/A), Shannon 

Photography: VCU Libraries — Special 
Collections and Archives, Ash Daniel 
(B.F.A. '06), Allen Jones (B.F.A.'Sg; 
M.F.A. '92/A), Jennifer Watson 

Production: ]essica Foster 

Shafer Court Connections is published 
semiannually by the Office of Alumni Relations 
and VCU Creative Services for Virginia 
Commonwealth University's alumni, faculty, 
staff and friends. Opinions expressed in this 
magazine do not necessarily represent those 
of the university or magazine staff. 

Send address changes to the Office of Alumni 
Relations. Virginia Commonwealth University, 
924 W. Franklin St.. P.O. Bo.x 843044. 
Richmond. VA 23284-3044; telephone 
(804) 828-2586; 

Letters to the editor should be sent to Shafer 
Court Connections, Virginia Commonwealth 
University, 827 W. Franklin St.. P.O. Box 
842041. Richmond, VA 23284-2041. or 
e-mail Please include yoiir 
name, address and a daytime phone number; 
anonymous letters will not be published. Letters 
may be edited for clarity or space. 

Contributions of articles, photos and 
artwork are welcome; however, Shafer Court 
Connections accepts no responsibility for 
unsolicited items. 

© 2007. Virginia Commonweallh University. An equal 
opportunity, affirmative action university. 0705Z4-01 

4 I VCU Shafer Court Connections 

University news 

News, research and administrative 
changes at Virginia Commonwealth 
University. For the latest updates, 
visit the Web at 

Jnpublished Plath poem appears in Blackbirc 

"Ennui," a previously unpublished poem by the late Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Sylvia Plath, 
appeared in Blackbird, one of the nation's leading online literary journals. 

Blackbird, which can be found at, is published through a pari ,_, 
ship between VCU's Department of English and New Virginia Review Inc. 

Anna Journey, contributing editor of Blackbird and a student in the M.F.A. in Creative 
Writing program at VCU, discovered the unpublished status of "Ennui" during research 
in the archives at Indiana University's Lilly Library. Plath wrote "Ennui," a sonnet, while an 
undergraduate at Smith College. 

Last fall. Blackbird photographically reproduced the original typed manuscripts of 
"Ennui," which reveals the important and enduring influence of F. Scott Fitzgerald on 
Plath's writing. "Ennui" was Plath's creative response to Fitzgerald's novels "The Great 
Gatsby" and "Tender is the Night." Echoes of those works appeared in poems throughout 
Plath's life, including such well-known later works as "Daddy." 

Giving boosts business, engineering 

The schools of Business and Engineering 
have received several gifts that will provide 
support for advanced education, professor- 
ships, scholarships and the construction of a 
new School of Business and expansion of the 
School of Engineering. 

Dominion, one of the top energy produc- 
ers in the U.S., pledged $1.5 million to the 
two schools, and Q^imonda, a leading global 
supplier of DRAM products, gave $2 million 
to the School of Engineering. In addition, 
Richmond businessman Sam Kornblau, 
chairman of SAMCO Development Corp.. 
gave $2.5 million to the School of Business to 
establish a real estate institute in the school. 

Professor earns Pulitzer recognition 

David Wojahn, professor of English and 
director of VCU's Creative Writing Program, 
was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize 
for Poetry for "Interrogation Palace: New 
and Selected Poems, 1982-2005," a career- 
spanning volume published last year. The 
91st annual Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism, 
Letters, Drama and Music were announced 
in April. 

Eight-time Grand Slam winner Andre 
Agassi and his wife, tennis hall-of-famer 
Steffi Graf, as well as three-time Grand 
Slam champ Lindsay Davenport and the 
world's No. 4"ranked player James Blake, 
attended the December 2006 ground- 
breaking for the Mary and Frances Youth 
Center at the corner of Linden and Gary 
streets on VCU's Monroe Park Campus. 

The center is being funded by a pri- 
vate, $1.5 million donation from Michael 
Fraizer, chairman and CEO of Genworth 
Financial Inc., and his wife, Elizabeth. The 
youth center will provide at-risk children 
in the Richmond community with a wide 
range of life skills, mentoring, academic 
and athletic programs, including Lobs &. 
Lessons, an after-school tennis program. 

Fall 2007 I 5 

[university news] 

In April, VCU dedicated a new $17 
miEion, four-story School of Nursing 
building that includes a clinical learn- 
ing center with patient simulators in 
critical and primary care rooms, research 
laboratories, a community outreach nurs- 
ing center, faculty offices and a heritage 
room. An added feature of the building is 
a donation of more than lOO watercolors 
byW. Baxter Perldnson Jr. (D.D.S. '70), 
VCU alumnus and former rector of the 
VCU Board of Visitors. 

At the dedication VCU announced 
alumni donations totaling $4-75 rnillion 
had been made to the schools of Nursing, 
Medicine and Allied Health Professions. 

VCUHS makes 'Best Hospital' list 

The VCU Health System is one of 173 
medical centers nationwide — and the only 
one in Central Virginia — to be named in 
U.S. News & World Report's 2007 rank- 
ings of America's Best Hospitals. The annual 
survey evaluated nearly 5,500 hospitals, with 
fewer than 200 meeting the standard in one 
or more areas. In particular, the VCU Health 
System was noted for excellence in treating 
patients with kidney disease, ranking 42nd in 
the country. 

Annual convocation honors faculty 

The university recognized four distinguished 
professors for outstanding accomplishments 
in the areas of teaching, scholarship, service 
and overall e.xcellence at the Faculty Address 
and Convocation Sept. 25- This year's honor- 
ees were: 

Distinguished Service Award: Aradhana 
"Bela" Seed, M.D. (M.S.H.A. '06), 
professor and chair, Division of Child 
Psychiatry, School of Medicine. 
Distinguished Scholarship Award: Sarah 
Spiegel, Ph.D., professor and chair. 
Department of Biochemistry and Molec- 
ular Biology, School of Medicine. 
Distinguished Teaching Award: Faye 
Belgrave, Ph.D., professor. Department 
of Psychology, College of Humanities 
and Sciences. 

University Award of Excellence: Marcel 
Cornis-Pope, Ph.D., director, Ph.D. 
in Media, Art, and Text, College of 
Humanities and Sciences, and professor. 
Department of English. 

Grant advances science and math 

VCU was selected as one of 31 U.S. bio- 
medical research institutions to receive a grant 
from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute 
to advance access to science for pre-college 
students and teachers. 

VCU plans to use the grant of $750,000 
over five years to develop programs to increase 
math and science literacy for students in 
Central Virginia, enhance research and life 
sciences training for K-I2 science teachers and 
expand Internet-based life sciences videos and 
lessons to teachers and students nationwide. 

Hanan Adeeb Abed 

Administrative changes 

AAFS accredits forensic science 

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences 
has awarded full, five-year accreditation 
to VCU's Bachelor of Science in Forensic 
Science. VCU now offers one of just two 
programs in the U.S. that are accredited at 
both the graduate and undergraduate level. 

Thomas G. Rosenthal, a Richmond business executive, was elected rector of the VCU 
Board of Visitors. ... Gov. Timothy Kaine appointed Maurice Jones, vice president and 
general manager of The Virginian-Pilot, to the Board of Visitors. ... Beverly J. Warren, 
Ed.D., Ph.D., was appointed dean of the VCU School of Education. ... Allyson Vanstone 
has been appointed dean to the VCU School of the Arts in Qatar. ... Deborah Davis, 
former president of Pitt County Memorial Hospital, in Greenville, N.C., assumed the 
role of chief operating officer at MCV Hospitals, part of the VCU Health System. 

6 I VCU Shafer Court Connections 

Professor joins elite advising group 

Puru Jena, Ph.D., VCU distinguished 
professor of physics, is one of nine tenured, 
research -active scientists and engineers selected 
nationwide as a 2007 Jefferson Science Fellow 
at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, 
D.C. Fellows advise and educate policy officials, 
including the secretary of state, of complex, 
scientific issues and their potential impact on 
U.S. foreign policy and international relations. 
Following a one-year term, Jena will return to 
VCU, but remain available for five years to the 
U.S. government as an expert consultant. 

Theater teaches docs empathy skills 

Doctors taught empathy techniques by the- 
ater professors show improved bedside manner, 
according to a pilot study by VCU researchers. 
The findings may help in the development of 
medical curriculum for clinical empathy train- 
ing. Results of the study, conducted by faculty 
members from the departments of Theatre 
and Internal Medicine, indicate a significant 
improvement in the clinical empathy skills 
of internal medicine residents at the VCU 
Medical Center following six hours of instruc- 
tion with professors of theater. 

Student earns Goldwater Scholarship 

VCU student Elizabeth K. Proffitt, a bio- 
medical engineering and biochemistry major, 
was one of 31? undergraduates from across 
the country to be named a Goldwater Scholar 
for the 2007-08 academic year. 

Goldwater Scholars are selected on the basis 
of academic merit from a field of I.IIO math- 
ematics, science and engineering students. 
The one- and two-year scholarships cover the 
cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and 
board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. 

Adcenter team wins national award 

In May, a VCU Adcenter team won the 
Cadillac National Case Study Competition, 
an annual contest that featured 70 schools and 
1,200 students this year. Graduate students 
Joe Quattrone (B.S. '05/MC), Katherine 
Capocelli (B.S. '06/MC), Zoe Bell, Slate 
Donaldson and Carmen Velazquez defeated 
a team from the University of New Mexico's 
Afxderson School of Management, which had 
produced the competition's winning team the 
previous two years. 

Donald Abraham, Ph.D. 

Research repor: 

Methods offer therapy for sickle cell disease 

Working under a grant from the National Institutes of 
Health, Donald Abraham, Ph.D., the Alfred and Frances 
Burger Professor of Biological and Medicinal Chemistry, 
in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry in VCU's 
School of Pharmacy, led a research team to show that 
5-l-IMF, a pure compound developed by the team, allows 
sickle cells to move smoothly throughout the blood ves- 
sels and prevent blockages. This unique anti-sickling 
agent holds promise for treating sickle cell disease, a 
painful and debilitating genetic blood disorder affecting 
nearly 8o,000 Americans. 

Compounds show promise as building blocks for new forms of energy 

Researchers have discovered a new class of aluminum-hydrogen complexes that 
exhibits unique chemistry and may one day be used as basic building blocks to cre- 
ate materials for use in alternative forms of energy and high-energetic materials. The 
research, headed jointly by Puru Jena, Ph.D., distinguished professor of physics, and 
Boggavarapu Kiran, Ph.D., assistant professor of physics, both at VCU, and Kit H. Bowen, 
Ph.D., professor of chemistry at Johns Hopkins University was supported by the U.S. 
Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Department of Energy. 


Scientists decode genome of oral pathogen 

VCU researchers, with support from the National'^ 
Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and tS 
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious DiseaS 
have decoded the genome of a bacteria normaify 
present in the healthy human mouth that can cause a 
deadly heart infection if it enters the bloodstream. 

The finding enables scientists to better understand 
the organism. Streptococcus sanguinis, and develQj)^ 
new strategies for treatment and infection preventiapj 

The study was conducted by Francis Macrina, Ph.D., 
VCU's vice president for research, and Gregory A. 
Buck, Ph.D., director of the Center for the Study of 
Biological Complexity at VCU in collaboration with 
other VCU researchers. 

Massey researchers develop innovative treatments for fighting leukemia 

In the past year, research teams at VCU Massey Cancer Center, led by Steven 
Grant, M.D., associate director for translational research and co-leader of the 
center's Cancer Cell Biology Program, have identified several possible treatments 
for leukemia. One study unearthed a new approach to enhance the activity of a 
new anti-cancer agent to the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia, a form 
of bone marrow cancer. 

Massey researchers also presented preclinical research at the American Association 
of Cancer Research's annual meeting suggesting the potential of a new combination 
treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and conducted a study to improve the 
anti-leukemic activity of an agent that triggers programmed cell death. 

These research efforts were supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, 
the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America and the Department of Defense. 

Fall 2007 I 7 


While the men's basketball team's 
record-breaking 2006-07 season made 
VCU a household name, last year the 
Rams racked up wins and conference rec- 
ognition across the board. 

• The men's basketball team defeated 
George Mason University 65-59 to 
earn the Colonial Athletic Association 
Championship and upset Duke 
University 79-77 in the first round 
of the NCAA Tournament. 

• Men's basketball coach Anthony 
Grant was named CAA Coach of 
the Year. 

• The baseball team captured its third 
CAA Championship in five seasons. 

• Seniors James Frierson and Davion 
Lambert earned Most Outstanding 
Performers for track events and 
field events, respectively, at the CAA 
Championship. The men's track and 
field team finished third overall in 
the tournament. 

• VCU head tennis coach Paul Kostin 
was named 2006 Mid-Atlantic 
College Coach of the Year by the 
U.S. Professional Tennis Association. 

• Women's tennis finished with a 
school-record 29-I season and an 
appearance at the NCAA Sweet 16. 

• Men's tennis earned its lOth CAA 
title in II years and made its 14th 
consecutive NCAA Tournament bid. 


The VCU baseball team capturedWWBBPCAA 
Championship — its third in five seasons. 

VCU strengthens campus security 

To help keep the university community safer 
and more secure and to deal wdth potential 
threats, VCU has implemented a rapid, mul- 
tilevel system for communicating emergency 
information to students, employees, parents 
and neighbors. Communication channels 
include te.xt messages, warning sirens on both 
campuses, digital signs in major academic 
buildings and in all residence halls, computer 
desktop messages, e-mails and the VCU Alert 
Web site at 

"Providing a safe environment on our 
campuses to learn, study, teach, work and 
participate in university activities has been and 
remains a top priority," says VCU President 
Eugene P. Trani, Ph.D. "The April 16 tragedy 
at Virginia Tech led us to re-examine every- 
thing we do in this area and to look for ways to 
strengthen our already strong campus security 

The emergency communications channels 
can be used together or in any combination 
to effectively respond to specific emergency 

Dental school receives $2.5 million 

VCU alumnus and former VCU Rector 
W. Baxter Perldnson Jr. (D.D.S. '70) donated 
$2.5 million to the School of Dentistry in 
October 2006 — the largest gift in the den- 
tal school's 113-year history. The gift wiU be 
used to advance the school's clinics, labs and 
technology as well as to recruit top faculty and 
students. In honor of the gift and his years of 
service to the school and the university, the VCU 
Board of Visitors voted to name a new dental 
school building in Perkinson's honor. The 
new, 55,000-square-foot, four-story building 
on Leigh Street will connect the existing Lyons 
Dental and Wood Memorial buildings. 

Rice Center gifts support education 

Inger Rice has pledged $2 miUion for the 
construction of an education outreach build- 
ing at VCU's Inger and Walter Rice Center 
for Environmental Life Sciences. The Rice 
Center also received a $25,000 gift from the 
Dominion Foundation to help fund an educa- 
tion pavilion, and a $100,000 gift from Alcoa 
Foundation to enhance the center's summer 
education program for K-I2 teachers. 

VCU celebrated the 90th birthday of 
John B. Fenn, Ph.D., 2002 Nobel Prize 
winner and VCU chemistry professor, 
with a symposium in his honor on June 15. 
Participants at the all-day event addressed 
developments in chemistry and mass spec- 
trometry, an analytical technique used to 
identify, quantify and explain unknown 
compounds. Fenn was awarded the Nobel 
Prize for his work in this area. 

VCU is establishing the John Fenn 
Chair Professorship in Chemistry in rec- 
ognition of his research contributions. 


Nobel laurea 

Grant supports disability research 

The VCU Department of Rehabilitation 
Counseling in the School of Allied Health 
Professions has received a $4.25 million grant 
from the U.S. Department of Education's 
National Institute on Disability and Rehabilita- 
tion Research. The grant wiU be used to create the 
national Coordination, Outreach and Research 
Center, led by VCU professor and principal 
investigator Brian T. McMahon, Ph.D. 

New programs 

Bachelor of Arts in Film 

Master of Arts in Homeland Security 

and Emergency Preparedness 
Master of Science in Athletic Training 
Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice 

8 I VCU Shafer Court Connections 

VCU community initiatives rank high 

VCU's efforts to foster university-community 
partnerships have been lauded nationally. 
VCU was recognized by the President's Higher 
Education Community Service Honor Roll 
for its outstanding efforts in community 
engagement. The university also received 
recognition from the Carnegie Foundation 
for the Advancement of Teaching for its 
community initiatives, and was one of 62 
higher learning institutions nationwide that 
demonstrated a commitment to community 
engagement in the classroom and beyond the 
boundaries of campus. 

Literacy Institute wins DOE grant 

The Literacy Institute, a partnership among 
the Virginia Literacy Foundation, the VCU 
School of Education and the VCU Center for 
Public Policy, has been awarded a $4.4 niOlion 
grant from the U.S. Department of Education 
to boost language and early literacy skills of 
young children. 

VCU competed nationally for the Early 
Reading First grant and received one of only 
32 grants. The new grant-funded project — 
Partnership for Excellence in Early Language 
and Literacy Skills — will work with Richmond 
Public Schools to strengthen the early literacy 
component of the Head Start and Virginia 
Preschool Initiative programs. 

lesearch repor: 


VCU's graduate schools are among the 
best in the nation, according to the latest 
survey by U.S. News and World Report of 
"America's Best Graduate Schools." 

Nurse Anesthesia 


Health Care Management 


Schoolof the Arts 




Graphic Design 


Painting and Drav^ing 


Rehabilitation Counseling 


School of Social Work 


Vyomen's Health 


School of Nursing 


School of Education 


Engineering discovery advances how computers and electronics work 

A research team of electrical and computer engineers from VCU's School of 
Engineering and the University of Cincinnati has made an important discovery in the 
emerging field of "spintronics" that may one day usher in a new generation of smaller, 
smarter, faster computers, sensors and other devices. Spintronics research focuses on 
using the "spin" of an electron for storing, processing and communicating information. 
With support from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the National 
Science Foundation, the VCU-UC team was the first to study spin-relaxation time in 
organic nanostructures and found that it can be exceptionally long, making them the 
ideal host materials for spintronic devices. Organic materials are also inexpensive, and 
therefore very desirable for making electronic devices. 

Research team uncovers a new drug action to treat multiple sclerosis 

Led by Sarah Spiegel, Ph.D., professor and chair in the VCU Department of 
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and with grants from the National Institutes 
of Health and the National Science Foundation, a team of VCU researchers identified a 
unique mechanism of action of a new drug that shows great promise for treating multiple 
sclerosis. The team found that Fingolimod inhibits the activity of a key enzyme necessary 
for producing inflammatory mediators that drive disorders such as asthma and MS. 

'IT $ 





Buckyballs found to fight allergies 

A research team has identified a new bio- 
logical function for a soccer ball-shaped 
nanoparticle called a buckyball - the abil- j 
ity to block allergic response, setting the 
stage for the development of new thera- 
pies for allergic disease. Researchers 
from VCU and Luna Innovations Inc., a 
private research company in Roanoke, ' 
Va., with grant support from the National 
Institutes of Health and the Food Allergy 
and Anaphylaxis Network, are the first to 
show that buckyballs are able to block allergic 
response in human cell culture experiments. 

VCU researchers consider current treatment a cure for hepatitis C 

Researchers with the VCU Medical Center say that the use of hepatitis C treat- 
ment drugs now points to a cure for the estimated 4.1 million Americans infected 
with the disease - the leading cause of cirrhosis, liver cancer and the need for 
liver transplants. 

Up to seven years following treatment, 99 percent of the 997 patients with HCV who 
were treated successfully with peginterferon alone, or in combination with ribavirin, 
had no detectable virus. The remaining eight patients had no consistent traits and it 
was not determined if they experienced a relapse or were re-infected. These results 
validate the use of the word "cure," which is defined as having undetectable HCV in the 
blood six months after treatment. 

"We at VCU are encouraged by this data because it is rare in the treatment of life- 
threatening viral diseases that we can tell patients they may be cured," says Mitchell 
Shiffman, M.D., professor in the VCU School of Medicine and chief of hepatology and 
medical director of the Liver Transplant Program at VCU Medical Center. 

Fall 2007 1 9 


Ji '^^^ 


['■! I 


by erin egan 

VCU alumni commit 

to environmentally friendly design 

lO I VCU Shafer Court Connections 



Anthony Brozna 

of ECO Supply Center 

Blame it on Al Gore. You cant tum on the 
TV, read a newspaper or listen to a presidential candidate 
without hearing someone mention the phrase "going green." 
The moveinent to clean up the planet is not new but it has 
gained considerable momentum in the past lO years. The 
trend that once appealed to a select few crunchy granola types 
now reaches the masses. Major corporations such as GM. 
Dow Chemical, DuPont and Owens Corning have chief 
sustainability officers to aid them in pursuing environ- 
mentally conscious practices. Big-box retailers like Target, 
Home Depot and Wal-Mart have begun marketing to the 
green consumer. 

The related phenomenon ofgreen building also has grown 
steadily in recent years into a veritable business of its own. 
A decade ago, the industry's worth was negligible. In 2005. 
the annual U.S. market in sustainable building products and 
services was more than $7 billion and is e.xpected to increase 
to $12 billion for 2007. 

Those numbers support the mission of the U.S. Green 
Building Council, which was founded in 1993. The council 
is the nation's leading nonprofit composed of corporations, 
builders, universities, government agencies and nonprofit 
organizations working together to change the way build- 
ings are designed, built and operated. When the council's 
voluntary Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design 
rating system took effect for commercial buildings in 2000, 
the council had 38 certified projects. Today, there are 889 
LEED-certified projects and more than 6,000 registered 
projects around the world. 

Exploring a better building model 

LEED offers solutions for architects, builders, developers 
and others in the industry so that they can construct the 
greenest buildings possible. Among the strategies emphasized 
are sustainable site development, water conservation, energy 
efficiency, selection of materials and indoor environmental 
quality. The LEED rating system — certified, silver, gold and 
platinum — awards points for the number of these strategies 
implemented for each project. The more points tallied, the 
higher a building is rated. 

Currently 197 buildings in the state of Virginia are 
registered under the LEED program — 17 in Richmond and 
seven associated with Virginia Commonwealth University. 

The council expects even more growth in the next five 
years, particularly in the area of residential building. The 
council began a pilot test of LEED for homes in August 2005. 
About 375 builders representing 6,000 homes aci'oss the 

Fall 2007 I 11 


U.S. participated in the pilot program, 
and 20I homes have been LEED certi- 
fied. The pilot test concludes in fall 
2007 and the council will launch the 
LEED for Homes rating system at that 
time. Once the rating system takes ef- 
fect, expect construction of green homes 
to become the norm. 

"People are becoming more con- 
cerned about the planet and how we treat 
it," says Ashley Katz, communications 
coordinator at the council. "Building 
green is an immediate and immeasur- 
able way to make a difference." 

Leading the movement 

Many VCU alumni are taking the 
lead in environmentally conscious 
building. Anthony Brozna (B.F.A. '97) 
is a furniture designer and craftsman 
who owns not one, but two, eco-friendly 
businesses in Richmond, Va. Brozna 
Woodworking, in business since 2000, 
showcases the artist's furniture designs 
using lumber from trees felled by storms 
or sickness, salvaged from old buildings 
or engineered using rapidly sustainable 
materials such as bamboo or sorghum. 
ECO Supply Center specializes in the 

distribution of green materials for Brozna points out the chair he's 

commercial and residential interiors perched on as an example of what he 
and is one of the few suppliers on the means. It looks as though it's made of 
East Coast. It opened in 2005- some sort of plastic but it's not. "This 

Brozna has always worked with chair is made from paper stock. Here's 
salvaged materials. "There's so much wood a perfect example of that innovative 
in the world that's already available," 
he says. "So I coupled that with natural 
wax and oil finishes. That was before there 
was any sort of talk 
about green build- 
ing. It just made 
the most sense." 

Talking with 
Brozna, his passion 
for green becomes 
quickly evident. He 
sees it not as a trend 

but a time of progressive ideas, similar 
to what was happening in this country 
during World War II when there was a 
need to produce new materials. 

"You hear green and its an easy way 

new material," he says. "All of a sud- 
den you have a whole new material to 

design with." 

Did you know? 

Bamboo can grow 60 feet in 59 days. 

A full bamboo crop can be harvested 

in less than seven years compared to 

20 or more years for hardwood. 

Broznas clients, who range from 
students to retirees to expectant mothers, 
are responding to these green concepts 
for aesthetic, environmental and health 
reasons. His business has grown so 
to publicize [the idea],"" he says, "but rapidly that hes had to expand his 
I feel like whats happening is another warehouse. Brozna is even thinking of 
period of innovation that reflects social. moving to a larger space to house not 
economic and environmental issues only lumber products, but the green 
that are really important and need to options for countertops, flooring and 
be addressed." paints he sells. 

12 I VCU Shafer Court Connections 

Anthony Brozna designs furniture using sustainable materials such as bamboo and PaperStone, a lOO percent, post-consumer recycled-paper product. 

"People are ready," Brozna says. 
"They're interested in using a product 
that's not toxic to their house. People 
are really questioning how we got to this 
place. It just doesn't make sense. You can 
do things differently. " 

Did you know? 

so everybody is on 
the same page to 

grow this way of VCU's housekeGping contractors are 

Spreading the word 

Brozna is a man on a mission. When 
he's not in his showroom or shop, he's 
spreading the word of green. Brozna 
works with builders, cabinetmakers, 
furniture makers, designers, architects 
and contractors to get eco-friendly 
products into their hands. He holds 
sessions to demonstrate the latest tech- 

required to use "green" products for 

cleaning all of thie university's 

academic space. 

thinking. " 

The industry 
is taking notice. In 
2007, Brozna won 
the Best Green 
Business award from 

the Virginia Sustainable Building Network, and down the East Coast. They share an 
the only statewide organization that enthusiasm for their craft and their eco- 
brings together representatives interested friendly products. Frederick, too, feels 
in building healthy, energy-efficient, part of his job is to boost the awareness of 
environmentally friendly buildings and green design to the local community. Part 
sustainable communities. of that education is letting the average 

Another VCU alumnus dedicated consumer know that green materials are 
niques to locals. Recently he held a to eco-conscious building and design no longer difficult to find nor are they 
workshop to train contractors in how is Greg Frederick (B.A. '95/H&S; prohibitively expensive, 
to apply American Clay, a natural earth B.A. '98/H&S). He owns Architectural "I never want people to feel like they 

plaster made of clay, reclaimed marble Outfitters, a custom woodworking can't afford green because there s al- 
dust and water. It comes in 42 colors operation in Richmond. Frederick uses ways some sort of an option," Frederick 
and goes over drywall, existing painted reclaimed wood, formaldehyde-free says. "As the industry opens up more to 

wood, water-based finishes and sustain- green products and it starts to get a little 
able products made from sorghum, 
bamboo and coconut 
trees. He gets his green 
supplies from Brozna. 

"There are only a 

handful of distributors 

nationwide and we're 

fortunate enough to 

have one of them right 

here in Richmond," 

"Tm really trying to stimulate and Frederick says of ECO Supply Center. 

build a network of people, '" Brozna says. Not surprisingly, the two entre- 

"That to me is the absolute most impor- preneurs collaborate on numerous 

tant thing, to build that local network projects — both Richmond-based and up 

walls or cinder block. It looks like 
Venetian plaster when applied. 

Did you know? 

VCU's recycling rate is more than 
25 percent, representing 772 tons 
of recycled paper products, glass 
and aluminum cans each year. 

more competitive, the price point will 
continue to come down." 

Growing call for green 

Already Frederick sees a marked 
increase in his clients' interest in green 
materials — and not just because 
they are good for the environment. 
"They are really gorgeous products," 
he says. "They can stand on their own 
aside from the fact that they're green. " 

After five years in business, 
Frederick is beyond busy. His hangar- 
sized warehouse hums with the sound of 

Fall 2007 ! 

y ; 



Did you know? 

Over the past five years, VCU has 

invested more than $7 million on energy 

improvement projects in its buildings. 

machinery and sawdust coats every sur- 
face. Frederick attributes the nonstop 
activity to finding his green niche. "The 
concept sells itself," he says. "Now that 
it's not so much more expensive, it's 
hard to come up with a good reason not 
to go green." 

Designing for the future 

In order to keep up with the trend 
and prepare its future designers to 
enter this great green world, the VCU 
Department of Interior Design tweaked 
its undergraduate and graduate curricula 
to reflect the growing demand for 
sustainable products. 

"We try to integrate green into all 
of the curriculum," says Jennifer 
Hamilton (M.F.A. '07/A), a professor 
and the administrative director in the 
interior design department. 

Students in the department take 
the required course "Advanced Material 
Studies for Interior Environments." 
They work with the latest green pro- 
ducts, such as bamboo, cork and Kirei 

board. When doing specs, students 
try to keep the environment in mind. 
"It's important to spec, say hardwood, 
from within 50*^ miles to counteract 
fuel emissions," Hamilton says. "Other- 
wise it defeats the purpose of being green." 

Green design is definitely here to 
stay. "People want it because it's cool and 
hip,"' Hamiltonsays. "Hopefully designers 
will learn more about it and push it. If 
we can do our jobs, it will progress and 
become better.' 

Marcie Blough (B.F.A. '05) is one 
of those designers out in the field. Her 
design firm, Blumarc Designs, located 
in Richmond, does residential and 
smaller commercial projects. Blough 
tries to go green as often as possible 
and finds that she doesn't have to work 
too hard to convince her clients to do 
the same. 

"I don't often have people say no to 
green design," she says. The only reasons 
they might are cost and unfamiliarity of 
the product. So, Blough, similarly to 
Brozna and Frederick, takes on the role 
of educator. 

"I literally will take my clients on 
a field trip and say, 'This is our time to 
learn about the product and see how you 

can change the world," Blough says. I 
think people are surprised when they 
actually see a [green] product, that it's 
really amazing quality. " 

Blough stresses that eco-conscious 
design does not just hinge on new pro- 
ducts. Reusing objects is important as 
well. Instead of throwing out a piece of 
furniture, she might encourage a client 
to refinish it. Or rather than getting 
rid of a couch and having it sit in a land- 
fill somewhere, she often suggests that a 
client get some new fabric and reupholster. 

"You don't have to go lOO percent 
green," Blough says. 'Just start making 
those steps. " 

Ultimately, these VCU alumni and 
others involved in the green building 
industry believe that as more people get 
the message about using environmen- 
tally friendly products, the trend will 
soon become the standard. "So five years 
from now, hopefully, it's just going to be 
green, " Brozna says. "It's not going to be 
this special option." 

Frederick ventures one step further. 

Td like to think that green is the 

mainstay,"' he says, "and the traditional 

products weve been using up until now 

will become obsolete. '" 

Erin Egan is a contributing writer for Sbafer Court 
Connections. Sources for "Did you know?" include, The New York Times 
and VCU Facilities Management. Color palette 
based on eco-friendly YOLO colorhouse paints. 



■i i4 \¥ « 

^ i 

Rice Center 
takes TEED' 
in VCU green 




rendering courtesy of Richard Chenowith 

11-4 ^ .il 

Visitors to the new education building 
at Virginia Commonwealth University's 
Inger and Walter Rice Center for 
Environmental Life Sciences won't have 
to travel very far to learn about sustain- 
able design. The lesson will begin at the 
front door — literally. 

"It's our flagship project," says Carl 
Purdin, VCU assistant director of design 
services. "We've registered the plans 
with the U.S. Green Building Council 
with the intent of receiving the platinum 
rating. When people come out to this 
facility, they'll experience firsthand a 
broad range of sustainable design prin- 
ciples and concepts." 

The goal to attain platinum certifica- 
tion through the council's rating system 
stemmed from the Rice Center's mission. 

"Part of the mission of the center is 
to foster environmental education, and 
thus appropriate environmental prac- 
tices, among the public," says Leonard 
A. Smock, Ph.D., director of the center. 
"Because of this, we felt that it was 
important to not only use the building 
as a location to educate students and 
the general public about appropriate 
environmentally sustainable practices, 
but to also have the building itself be a 
showcase of how to put sustainability 
into practice." 

Scheduled to open March 2008, 
this 5,000-square-foot facility has the 
potential to score well above the mini- 
mum 52 points needed to earn platinum 
certification according to the council's 
Leadership in Energy and Environmental 
Design scorecard for new construc- 
tion. Features will include a geothermal 
heating and cooling system, photovoltaic 
solar collectors, a state-of-the-science 
sewage disposal system, sustainable 
and recycled building materials, rain 

gardens and permeable paving systems 
to collect storm water runoff, cisterns 
to collect rainwater for toilets, water- 
efficient plumbing fixtures, and a 
vegetated roof system. The building 
design also maximizes the use of day- 
light to reduce the need for artificial 
lighting and to minimize total amount of 
light pollution. 

In2003, when VCU firstestablished 
its six-year capital plan, sustainable 
design was in limited use. Few manufac- 
turers carried the supplies needed, and 
developers were faced with high costs. 

"At that time, the price point was 3 
to 5 percent above the return," explains 
Brian Ohiinger, VCU associate vice pres- 
ident of Facilities Management. "Now 
manufacturers are getting on board and 
we're looking at a 1 to 2 percent return 
— sometimes cost neutral. 

"It makes good sense in the long 
term to use sustainable design, both 
economically and environmentally," he 
says. "It's a simple way we can make a 
difference in the world, and make a last- 
ing impact on the lives of our children 
and their children." 

In addition to the education build- 
ing, VCU partnered with Virginia Game 
and Inland Fisheries to design their 
Region 1 headquarters at the Rice 
property. Other VCU green building 
projects include a student services and 
recreational sports facility on the MCV 
Campus and a student facility for rec- 
reational sports on the Monroe Park 
Campus, as well as the Medical Sciences 
Building II, an addition to the School of 
Dentistry and the School of Engineering 
Health and Life Sciences Lab. 

Jennifer Carmean is a contributing writer for 
Shafer Court Connections. 

-a\\ 2007 1 15 

VCU brings viewers 
programming in 
high-definition format 

Virginia Commonwealth University 

students are putting their own spin on reality television 
through a unigue production operation - VCU TV/HD. 

One of the first in the country to produce TV program- 
ming in high-definition format, VCU's University News 
Services and executive producer and manager Dan Brazda 
pulled together a team of eight highly talented students to 
run the series. They do it all from preproduction through 

"I want to provide a creative playground of sorts for the 
students that will allow them to produce what I call 'cine- 
matic television.' Our shows are more like short films than 
typical formulaic TV fare," Brazda says. 

The programs are a half-hour in length and produced in 
cinema verite, non-narrative style, which means they are 
"real" reality TV. The students have gone behind the scenes 
at the VCU Medical Center's Level-1 trauma center and 
VCU's theatre department, explored the music scene in 
Richmond, profiled student filmmakers and their films and 
observed the unigue characters that run one of the most 
popular pizza restaurants in the area. 

"It's been great to be a part of such a unigue program 
like VCU TV/HD. It gives us a unique opportunity to expand 
our skills and have our voices heard," says Lisa Figueroa 
(B.S. '07/MC), a recent graduate of mass communications 
and one of the first students hired at VCU TV/HD. 

The idea for the high-end, student-run TV production 
studio came from VCU Board of Visitors member Dick 
Robertson (B.S. '67/MC) and VCU Rector Thomas Rosenthal, 
both of whom have strong ties to the TV industry Robertson 
recently was named senior adviser to the Warner Bros. 
Television Group after serving 17 years as president of 
Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. Rosenthal, 
CEO of MedOutcomes Inc., is also chairman of the board of 
Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Corp. 

They led the university in establishing a partnership with 
the Community Idea Stations, owned by Commonwealth 
Public Broadcasting, to air VCU TV/HD programs. 

"What a great advantage for the Community Idea Stations 
to have local content, local programming," Rosenthal says. 
"There's so much intellectual property 
that exists in the university." 

He and Robertson agree that 
VCU TV/HD offers the right format, 
the right medium, to tap into the 
university's diverse assets and allow 
students and faculty members from 
all disciplines to contribute to content. 

"You always think you have it right 
but we've just been blown away," 
Rosenthal says of the series' first year. 

With the number of shows expected 
to double in the coming year, Robertson 
says he looks forward to seeing where 
VCU TV/HD takes viewers next. 

"It is developing so robustly," 
Robertson says. "We've just scratched 
the surface of what it could be." 

Thomas Rosenthal and Dick Robertson 

Compiled from staff reports. VCU TV/HD programs are available 
online at for streaming or download and air on a 
regular schedule over Community Idea Stations WCVW-TV channel 57 and 
cable channel 24 in Richmond 

Fall 2007 I i: 

campus ^. 
c rinecti ns 


Reunions, celebrations and tours bring alumni together and showcase VCU 

More than 400 alumni returned to campus for Reunion Weekend, April 27-29, which featured open houses, 
receptions, anniversary celebrations, a concert and other special events for Richmond Professional Institute 
graduates and African-American Alumni Council members. Here's a glimpse at the weekend's festivities. 

Reliving fond RPI memories 

From the opening reception at The Jefferson Hotel to Sunday's farewell breakfast, RPI alumni relived their 
fondest memories, renewed old friendships and observed the tremendous growth and development of VCU p — — — _____ 

from its RPI roots. I 

"It was wonderful," Alice Gaskill Taylor (B.F.A. '66) says. "A group of us from the arts met last year and 
agreed to come again this year" The classmates swapped stories about their "house mothers," who 
would randomly perform room checks for tidiness and made beds. "Neither I nor my roommate, 
Bobbe Kennedy (B.F.A. '66), were characteristically neat," Taylor says. "So at Christmas, when we 
all decorated our doors, we wrapped the door in paper with a big ribbon and a card that said. To 
Miss Ranier from Bobbe and Alice: Do not open till Christmas.'" 

RPI students often lived in former residences that were remodeled for their use, including 
Founders Hall and the Ritter-Hickok House. During the weekend, alumni were treated to open 
houses, walking tours and panel discussions highlighting these historic homes as well as VCU's 
new buildings and familiar sights on and around campus. 

Les Simpson (Cert. '55/ B;B.S.'57/E), who hadn't seen the campus for 20 years, was pleased that many 
of the older houses still line Franklin Street. "Three of us lived in a small apartment on the third floor 
of Adams House at 914 West Franklin. We had a lot of fun. That's probably why I had to take English four 
times to get credit for two classes," he jokes. 

Simpson's roommate, Ed Peeples, Ph.D., (B.S. '57/E), spoke at the Golden Circle Breakfast about RPI, 
where he says he learned to love great music, the arts, behavioral sciences and history The RPI faculty members were "remark- 
able educational missionaries," he says. "Some were the rare characters who stretched our minds and our commitments, and 
others, the straight-laced ones, who kept us civil." 

Peeples also addressed today's VCU: "Keep tuned to the news reports of our young strapping progeny the Virginia 
Commonwealth University Watch for the next Noble Prize emanating from this place, watch for another star to light up 
Broadway, watch for the next life-changing technology to emerge, watch for the next Pulitzer Prize and watch for the next 
sports record to be broken. 

"Watch closely this place, which could not have become what it is without heeding the voices left among the cobblestones 
on which we trod in our youth so many years ago." 

Marking a social work milestone 

VCU's School of Social Work - the oldest school of social work in the South - turned 90 this year in grand fashion. The 
birthday celebration kicked off in March with an anniversary party at the home of the school's Northern Virginia M.S.W. program 
in Alexandria, Va., and culminated in April at Reunion Weekend with a concert on Shafer Court. 


Mark your calendars 
for the 2008 RPI and 
Frican-American Alumni 

April 25-27. 

18 I VCU Shafer Court Connections 

Jacquelin Warren (M.S.W. 38) attended the March party with her 
daughter Ellen Warren, also a social worker "We had a wonderful time," 
she says. "It was such a good opportunity to talk with everyone." 

Warren recently retired from a 70-year career in social work, ending 
her private practice at the age of 89- "I v.'as so lucky to find the right 
thing. Not everyone does," she says. "I've done just about everything." 
She worked with the Children's Home Society of Richmond, placing 
babies for adoption, and later served as director of family services 
for the state. "We set up the first mental health services for children 
at clinics in Norfolk and Chesapeake." 

Warren also was instrumental in getting state licensure for social 
work professionals. "We were always lobbying the state legislature. 
Social work has come a long way," she says. 

"Social justice" — the unifying theme around which the various 
programs of the School of Social Work are organized — reverber- 
ated throughout the festivities, from an exhibit of thought-provoking 
artworks by VCU students to a clinical symposium about the ethics of 
social work practice in mental health. 

"The reunion's theme of [social justice and] the school's progress 
since 1917 reminded me why I attended VCU and of the importance 
of our mission," Jack Damon (M.S.W '98) says. A military retiree when he 



( 1 ) : VCU professor Grace Harris, Ph.D., speaks with RPI alumnus Gene 
Hunt (B.S. '59/B; M.S. '61/B) and his wife, Rosalia. (2) : At the Golden 
Circle Breakfast alumnae Ann Poehlman (B.S. '57/AHP), Archie Blaha 
(B.S. '57/AHP), Dolores Taylor Morgan (B.S. '58/AHP) and Barbara Innes 
Smith (B.S. '56/AHP) display a 1950 aerial photo of the RPI campus. 
(3): Alumni celebrate at the annual AAAC dance, co-hosted by the 
Eta Theta chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. (4): Ed Peoples, 
Ph.D., (B.S. '57/E), Ken Magilj (B.S. '65/B; M.S. '69/E) and John Magill 

(B.S. '67/H&S; M.S.W. '69) catch up at the opening reception at The 
Jefferson Hotel. (5): Jackie TunstallBynum (B.S. '83/H&S),co-chairof the 
AAAC Programs and Events Committee, and Jamie Flagler Harrison 
hit the links at the AAAC and Young Alumni Council Golf Classic. 
(6) : "Stone Age RPI vs. Modern Day VCU" brings smiles to attendees 
as students, alumni and faculty compare life at RPI with life at VCU. 
(7): VCU professor Micah L. McCreary, Ph.D., facilitates the AAAC 
Saturday Morning Symposium on "The N-word." 

Fall 2007 

earned his master's through the school's Northern Virginia program, Damon 
and his wife, Deborah, made the road trip to Richmond, Va., for the April 

"The faculty, staff, graduates and students clearly share a belief that we 
can make a difference," he says. "Regardless of which 'track' you selected 
in school, our best approach to achieving social justice is to be a unified 

That idea continued at the "Sip and Support" wine tasting, where Michelle 
Acree (Ph.D. '03/SW) spoke. "Like tiny drops of water," she says, "regular, col- 
lective, small contributions can make an enormous impact — like oceans." 

Proceeds from the event benefited the School of Social Work Dissertation 
Honor Fund scholarship, and Acree encouraged her fellow alumni to give back, 
emphasizing "the life-changing and continuing positive effect of VCU on each 
of our lives — the relationships, the learning and how much we benefit from 
these today." 

After stepping down from the podium, Acree soaked in her surroundings. 
"It was wonderful to be on campus and toseeeveryone. The genuine warmth 
and feeling of being [a part of the] VCU family is almost indescribable to 
someone who has not experienced it," she says. "The VCU School of Social 
Work has always impressed me as an exampleof how a wonderful, supportive 
climate strongly contributes to its academic and professional excellence." 

Catching up with the AAAC 

For their 17th reunion, members and supporters of the African-American 
Alumni Council came back to campus to affirm their connections to each 
other and to the university. 

"I have [always] enjoyed seeing the folks return each year and getting 
a chance to meet first-timers," says Mary Francis (B.S. '95/FI&S), AAAC 
secretary This year, though, she says, more age groups were represented, 
bringing a new aspect to the weekend conversations. "I had the most fun 
this year being with folks who had graduated 10 and 20 years before me 
as well as individuals who have graduated in the past 10 years. Having that 
age range of people enjoying themselves at one function is a wonderful 

Friday's events provided two networking opportunities, first 
on the links for the annual golf classic and later that evening 
at a reception highlighting alumni entrepreneurs. On Saturday, 
Micah McCreary, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology 
at VCU, facilitated a midday symposium on "The N-Word" to 
examine its origins and power. The weekend's events were 
topped off by a park outing and flag football game and the 
ever-popular reunion dance. 

"It's great to see people you maybe haven't seen in years, 
and to see the changes in people you saw last year," says 
council member Teresa Yarbrough (B.S. '81/B). "Reunion is a 
great opportunity to talk about things that have happened in your 
life, about your kids. I look forward to it every year It's a time to just 
get away and be back in college with friends." 

Reporting by Mary Ellen Mercer, former publications editor, VCU Alumni Association. 

20 I VCU Shafer Court Connections 

: Anne Latane Menin Gibson-Alexick (Cert. '52/A) and David Alexick 
(B.F.A. '64; M.F.A. '66/A) enjoy cake at the RPI commemorative sculpture 
dedication. : IVlartha Riis iVloore (B.S. '37/H&S), the oldest alumna at the RPI 
reunion, enjoys the Golden Circle Breakfast. : The Cary Street Gym plays 
host to a game of hoops for AAAC reunion attendees. : Frank Baskind, 
Ph.D., dean of the School of Social Work, speaks at the RPI Alumni Dinner 
which featured a performance by theTheatreVCU cast of "Smokey Joe's Cafe." 

: Alumni, faculty and their families dance to the sounds of the Imitators, 
featuring social work professor Joe Walsh. "Cake and a Concert on Shafer 
Court" celebrated the dedication of the RPI commemorative sculpture. 

: The Farewell Brunch and Memorial Tribute, held at the VCU Scott House, 
gives alumni one last chance to enjoy each other's company before returning 
home. : Using "play money" to wager, alumni at the blackjack table give 
the AAAC Las Vegas-style Casino Night a thumbs-up. 

Fall 2007 I 21 

N 1999, Virginia Commonwealth 
-University began the Campaign 
FOR VCU, embarking on its most 
ambitious and extensive capital 

CAMPAIGN ever. When VCU closed the 
campaign in June 2007, its generous 
individual, corporate and foundation 
donors had contributed $410,341,216, 

shattering the $330.5 million combine 
goal for the university's two campuses. 

The more than $162 million raised by 
the schools and units on the Monroe Park 
Campus has already begun to transform 
the campus, with new buildings and 
additional scholarships and professorships, 
as well as revamped approaches to teaching 
and learning. 

This campaign, while for VCU, was 
really about the impact on students, the 
community and, consequently, society. 
"Together, we not only have helped 
VCU become a better place for learning, 
but we also have helped make our com- 
munity, and indeed our world, a better 
place for learning, " says VCU President 
Eugene P. Trani, Ph.D. 

22 I VCU Shafer Court Connections 


BRACKET-BUSTERS > Sensational. Inspiring. Heart-stopping. No matter 
how Rams fans describe the VCU men's basketball 2007 CAA Championship 
and the Rams' storybook win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, 
they all agree on one thing: the 2006-07 season will never be forgotten. What 
will fans remember most? ... When the Rams overcame a five-point deficit in 
the final minutes of their 65-59 CAA Championship win? ... Eric Maynor's 
game-wdnning jumper over Duke University that anointed the VCU Rams 


mgs .' 

While fans debate their favorite moments, the return 

of CAA Coach of the Year Anthony Grant — along with the arrival of a highly 
touted recruiting class that ranked fifth among the mid-majors — makes it clear 
there's one more thing VCU fans can agree on: this is only the beginning. 










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[ FACE to face] 



Mary Ellen Mercer arrived at Virginia Commonwealth University in 1979- During her tenure, Mercer has 
been an adjunct professor of children's literature and spent three hair-raising semesters teaching freshman 
composition. "I got better, but I'm more of a one-on-one writing coach," she says. 

After teaching, Mercer went on to work as editor of five university magazines, three of which she co-created 
— Shafer Court Connections; Advance, for patients and professionals at the Massey Cancer Center; and 
Paradigm, covering scientific and scholarly research on VCU's two campuses. Throughout her 19-year 
publications career at VCU, Mercer, wrote and edited many award-winning stories on VCU professors, 
students and alumni. Before retiring in June 2007, Mercer sat down to talk about her time at VCU. 

How did you find your way to Alumni 
Relations? Well, 1 was working on other 
alumni publications and Bill lies, the 
executive director, had read some pieces I'd 
put together. I guess he liked the way 1 wrote. 
I was perky. And he really wanted me to edit 
the alumni magazines. He also wanted some 
unity between Shafer Court Connections and 
Scarab, the MCV Campus alumni magazine, 
so he wanted the same person editing both of 
them. I thought, hte.' 

What has been your biggest challenge? 

I can't stand leaving anybody out. Or any 
quirky or interesting bit of information. 
Everything I write is always too long. It's cojyf 
heavy. It's copy heavy . I tried to get both person- 
ality and information in every story because 1 
thought the university magazine should be a 
place where you learn things. I saw the mag- 
azine as continuing education. Someone 
once said that "university " is a long conver- 
sation (when it's not a long meeting) and 1 
always thought that the magazine was a way of 
continuing the conversation. 

What is your greatest accomplishment? 

1 really do feel as though much of the time Ive 
been able to present news and people and do 
it so that, as Bill lies used to say, 'We take the 
work seriously but we don't take ourselves too 

1 came to a realization that what people want 
most is to be recognized. Someone to say. 
Oh. that's whojou are. That's what you do. That's what 
IS important to you. So when you tell their story, 
what you try to do is give a sense of that. It 
has to be, as much as possible, their story not 
yours. And 1 really feel that the subject of the 
article — alumni and the university — should 
be in the foreground and the writer should be 
in the background. 

Is there one story that stands out? There's 
one that I'm particularly proud of. It was a 
cover story about the integration of Richmond 
Professional Institute — now the Monroe Park 
Campus [Shafer Court Connections, sum- 
mer 1995] ■ It was hard to do because it was 
a touchy subject. 1 talked to alumni from the 
era when African-American undergraduates 

were starting to move into the campus and 
then gradually the university opened up more 
to them. Seeing the article, other alumni 
wrote in about attempts to do this earlier. 
But the university wasn't ready for it because 
Richmond wasn't ready. 

The other thing that was cool about this 
story was that the library was doing an online 
African -American historical and cultural 
archive for "Virginia and they put the story 
into the archive. I was particularly pleased 
about that. 

But I've done a lot of things that I feel 
pretty good about when I look over back 
issues. Thanks to our alumni. I've had a tre- 
mendous variety, which has been terrific. 
And I've had a chance to meet a lot of really 
wonderful people who are doing really good 
things. I always felt that my job as a writer, 
journalist and editor was to let good people 
who were reading what I wrote know who the 
other good people' were, to sort of generate 
some hope. 

— Interview conducted by Erin Egan, a contributing 
writer for Shafer Court Connections. 

26 I VCU Shafer Court Connections 


National events put ^xCttMOM^ on the map 

^ r, i flili 


' v/(n 

By Polly Roberts 

For visitors in search of a little Southern hospitality and a lot 
of history, Richmond doesn't disappoint. In fact, what guests will 
discover in the River City reaches far beyond the ordinary. 

"Manypeople don't have a clear-cut concept "It's the best entertainment that you've never 

of what Richmond has to offer, " says Wilson H. 
Flohr, president of Richmond Region 2007- 
"We're a vibrant city with an enormous amount 
of history, but look at us as an entire package: 
entertainment, educational, recreational, all 
woven together. " 

A nonprofit organization created in 2004, 
RR7 coordinates signature events commemo- 
rating the nation's 400th anniversary this year. 

"One of our goals is to really help create an 
image and awareness for Richmond outside 
of Virginia, " Flohr says. 

In May, RR7 hosted a replica of the 17th- 
century vessel Godspeed along Richmond's 
James River in remembrance of the boat's 
historic journey from Jamestown in l6o7- 
Other RR7 signature events included June's 
James River Adventure Games and October's 
National Folk Festival. 

The traveling festival — now in its third year 
in Richmond — drew more than lOCOOO 
people to the city's riverfront in 2006 and 
brought an estimated $4 million in economic 
impact to the region over the course of the 
three-day weekend event. 

Each year, performers and craftspeople 
celebrate America's ciJtural roots through 
music, dance, crafts, storytelling and food. 

heard of," Flohr says. "Some of the entertain- 
ment is international — from Canada, Ireland, 
Mongolia — and it's passed down from one 
generation to another." 

Other artists, such as the Richmond 
Indigenous Gourd Orchestra, are home- 

Band member Christopher Hibben 
(B.F.A. '88) calls the orchestra's blend of 
Paleolithic lounge music — created from locally 
grown gourds transformed into drums, flutes, 
harps and shakers — a murture of goofiness, love 
of music and love of gourds. 

"It's wonderful that we coidd do all of this 
in our own backyard and have hundreds of 
people and other acts come out and enjoy what 
we share," Hibben says of the band's 2006 
festival performance. 

Hibben attended this year's Oct. 12-14 
festival as a spectator to support an event that 
he says has positively impacted the city. 

"There's a lot of potential for Richmond, " 
Hibben says. ""The folk festival was really fun 
because of that sense of being part of some- 
thing that can make Richmond a really great 
place to live." 

— Polly Roberts is a contributing writer 
for Sbafer Court Connections. 

The music continues 

While the National Folk Festival will pack up and head to a new city after 2007, the founda- 
tion it established will remain. Richmond will continue to host a free annual folk festival with the 
same high quality of performances, activities and more. 

"This is an opportunity to continue the festival — with a different name — and hopefully have 
the same scope," says Wilson Flohr, president of Richmond Region 2007. 

Past performer Christopher Hibben of the Richmond Indigenous Gourd Orchestra says pre- 
senting an event of the folk festival's size gives Richmond a source of pride. 

"Who would have thought that little old us could do this? It's nice to say that we can," he says. 
"We know how to handle this, put on a good show and people have a great time." 

Venture Richmond will host the city's future folk festivals. For more information, visit 

Christopher Hibben (top left)jarr\s with the 
Richmond Indigenous Gourd Orchestra at the 
2006 National Fo/fc Festival. For the past three 
years, the annual festival has brought performers 
from around the world to Richmond in celebration 
of a wide variety of cultural traditions. 


School of Business names 
2007 Alumnus of the Year 

Stephen Y. Dickinson (B.S. '70/B) 
with his wife, Pat, accepts the VCU School 
of Business Alumnus of the Year award, 
an annual honor given by the School of 
Business Alumni Board. Dickinson is 
controller of Media General Inc. and one 
of the founders of the VCU Controllers 
Executive RoundTable. 


News, highlights and event photos from the 
Virginia Commonwealth University Alumni Association 
and the African-American Alumni Council. 


Alumni rally for the Rams during NCAA Tournament 

Cullen Shelton (B.S. '02/H&S) jumps to 
his feet while watching the black and gold' play 
sixth-seeded Duke University in the open- 
ing round of the men's NCAA basketball 
tournament. The VCU Alumni Association 
organized the "watch party " at Bandito's in 
the Fan for alumni who couldn't travel to 
Buffalo, N.Y. , for the game. The restaurant 
was packed with alumni and friends wearing 
gold shirts and other Rams paraphernalia. 
The excitement — and the crowd — grew 
days later when the group gathered again at 
Bandito's to watch as the Rams challenged 
the University of Pittsburgh. 

Evigene Hunt (B.S. '59/B; M.S. '61/B) 
and his wife, Rosalia, cheer on the VCU 
men's basketball team during the 2006-07 
season. The flenrico, Va., couple, who have 
followed the team for more than 30 years, 
traveling all over the country and even over- 
seas, didn't miss a single game last season 
— home or away. The Hunts were among 
thousands of alumni who showed up or 
tuned in to root for the Rams during their 
championship season. 

VCUAA welcomes new board members 

Seven directors have joined the VCU Alumni Association. Directors 
are selected by a nominating committee and elected by the board. 

Rejena Carreras (B.F.A. '7O; M.A.E. '80), vice president, Carreras 
Jewelers, Richmond, Va. 

William L. Davis (B.S. '74/H&S; M.S. '79/I-I&S), retired captain, 
Henrico County Division of Police, Richmond, Va. 

David R. Dennler (B.S. '75/B), controller, Virginia Home for Boys 
& Girls, Richmond, Va. 

Stephanie L. Holt (B.S. '74/H&S), account manager, Xerox Corp., 
Richmond, Va. 

Gary Inman, interior designer, Glave and Holmes Associates 
Architecture & Design, Richmond, Va. 

Mary Perklnson (B.F.A. '9I; B.S. '03/En), engineer, Northrop 
Grumman Newport News, Newport News, Va. 

John Schwartz (B.S. '69/B), managing director, Have Site Will 
Travel Ltd., Richmond, Va. 




28 1 VCU Shafer Court Connections 

Chip Rossi bids farewell to alumni 

Nearly three years ago, I wrote to introduce myself as VCU's 
new executive director of alumni relations. Now, I say farewell to 
VCU and all its wonderful alumni and staff. For family reasons, I 
have moved to Charlotte, N.C., to take over direction of the 
alumni office at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. 

It has truly been exciting to be at such a dynamic and di- 
verse university. In only a short amount of time, I've watched 
VCU grow its facilities as well as its student population. 

From the beginning I knew I was part of an excellent team. 
The VCU Alumni Association and MCV Alumni Association 
boards and the able staff on both campuses are strongly com- 
mitted to the mission of the university. 

I have enjoyed knowing and working with JoLynne DeMary 
(M.Ed. '72) and George Burke (M.D. '70), immediate past presi- 
dents of the VCU and MCV alumni associations. I know that 
new presidents Dan Massey (B.S. '92/B), at the VCUAA, and 
Mary Shall (Ph.D. '91/M), at the MCVAA, will continue the hard, 
creative work. Members and officers of the African-American 
Alumni Council are another important part of the VCU team 
who have created a strong network of support for African- 
American students and other university programs. 

With such a great team, VCU and the alumni associations 
will certainly continue to grow. I will be watching VCU with 
interest and affection as the university and the alumni associa- 
tions develop and deepen. 

After three great years on campus, I will always be a Rams fan! 


RPI alumni sculpture sets 
51-year legacy in stone 

Capturing the innovation and excite- 
ment often associated with the Richmond 
Professional Institute, a predecessor of VCU. 
Tableith " by artist Charles Ponticello 
(M.F.A. '94/ A) will soon stand to the west 
of Ginter House as a prominent, physical 
reminder of RPI's legacy. 

Ponticello's piece consists of 51 cast discs 
stacked atop each other and spiraling up- 
ward. Each disc represents a year in RPI's life and is inscribed on its edge 
with a significant phrase from the corresponding year at RPI . The base will 
include a "founder's stone " with an oval relief in bronze of Henry Hibbs, 
founder of the Richmond School of Social Economy, which became RPI. 
Some small stones are laid nearby. Ponticello explains, "as if waiting to be 
lifted into position for the future years.' 

"My primary focus is to produce a monumental effect with a sense of 
awe and respect rather than a "stand out' personal interpretation with 
imagery that overcomes the purpose. " Ponticello says. 

Since plans for the sculpture were announced in winter 20o6. RPI 
alumni have raised $20.000 toward a goal of $38,000 to build and 
install the monument. To contribute funds for the sculpture, con- 
tact Diane Stout-Brown at (804) 828-2586 or; or 
mail your contribution to VCU Alumni Relations, P.O. Box 843044-' 
Richmond, VA 23284-3044. 

AAAC virtual store opens for business 

Show your support for the African-American Alumni Council. Pur- 
chase merchandise — from reunion photo CDs to shirts and hats — online 
at All profits benefit AAAC scholarship funds. 

Chip Rossi, second from right, shows his Rams spirit at a watch party, 
sponsored by the VCU Alumni Association at Bandito's, when VCU 
took on Duke University in the first round of the NCAA tournament. 

Peter Wyeth. vice president for University Advancement, 
is leading a national search for an assistant vice president 
for university alumni relations. 

Council recognizes Alumni of the Year 

African-American Alumni 
Council President FranMin 
Wallace (B.F.A. '87) (center) 
honors AAAC 2OO7 Alumni 
of the Year recipients Renee 
Jackson-Anderson, Ph.D., 
(B.F.A. '83) and W. Darrell 
Walden (Ph.D. '93/B). The 
pairwere honored Feb. 16 during "Black History in the Making. " an event 
sponsoredby VCU's African American studies department. Jackson-An- 
derson, an assistant professor of merchandising and hospitality 
management who coordinates the e-merchandising program at the 
University of North Texas, was recognized for her commitment to 
ensuring student success. Walden, associate professor of accounting 
and information systems in the Robins School of Business at the 
University of Richmond, co-founded the Virginia Ereedmen Project, 
which encourages families, particularly those within the African- 
American community, to discover their genealogy and famUy history. 

Fall 2007 

Class notes 

Send information about your professional and personal 
accomplishments to Or, mail your news 
to Shafer Court Connections, Virginia Commonwealth University, 
827 W. Franklin St., P.O. Box 842041, Richmond, VA 23284-2041. 


Martha Myers (B A 46/A) dean (emeritus) of the 
American Dance Festival received an honorary degree 
presented by VCU President Eugene Trani. Ph.D., 
in 2006. 


William "Bill" Ginther* (B S, WB: M.S. y^B) recently 
retired as corporate executive vice president and Mid- 
.\tlantic Group Retail LOB manager for SunTrust 
Bank. He has also served as president of the VCU 
Alumni Association and is a trustee of the School 
of Business Foundation. 

Sandy Grabman ('68/8) has had her third book released. 

"Pat Buttram, the Rocking Chair Humorist." 
John Schwartz (B.S, 69/3) has been appointed to the 

Henrico Board of Real Estate Review and Equalization. 
Bernice Smith (B.S. 66/MC) was appointed to the Board 

of Directors for Habitat for Humanity Peninsula for 

the 2006-07 term. 


Lindsay Harrington* (B S '73/B) was appointed to the 
Board of Trustees of Florida Gulf Coast University 
in Fort Myers. Fla.. by Gov. Jeb Bush and appointed 
to the Board of Directors of the Johnnie B. Byxd Sr. 
Alzheimer's Center and Research Institute by Florida 
House Speaker Allan Bense. 

Spotligh : 

Young alumnus preaches the beneij 

long giving 



To do by age 24: 

• Earn a degree in business. Check. 

• Embark on a successful career in t' 
financial-services industry. Check. 

• Pledge $10,000 to alma mater. Check. . 
For Gaurav "G" Shrestha (B.S. '03/B), makj 

such a generous gift to Virginia Commonweal 
University v/as a no-brainer. ] 

"If I had gone to another school, I don't thii 
I would be where I am today. This gift is my way 
of saying thank you," says Shrestha, a financial 1 
planner with Virginia Asset Management. 

Scholarships (plus hard work at a full-time job at SunTrust) helped Shrestha fund his 
VCU education. 

"Being the benefactor — directly or indirectly — of the generosity of others taught me 
the power of giving back," he says. 

That message of helping others is a mantra he passes on to new VCU alumni. Just 
after graduation, Shrestha worked with administration officials to create the Young 
Alumni Council as a steppingstone to keep new graduates linked to the university. 

The council has made great strides in its first two years, organizing social get-togeth- 
ers, career assistance, and seminars and other events to encourage participation with 
the VCU Alumni Association and other alumni. 

One of Shrestha's main goals as council president — and a lifetime member of VCUAA 
— is to increase overall alumni association membership. 

"Why wouldn't you join? To me, it's so inexpensive to become a member plus it's a small 
way of giving back because the association does so many things for students," he says. 

For more information on how you can join the Young Alumni Council, call (804) 828- 
2586 or go online to 

Adapted from "Early /essons teach the benefits of lifelong giving. " originally published in the fall 2006 
Campaign for VCU newsletter, "The Power of Personal Philanthropy. " 

Myrna Howells-DeAustria. Ph.D., {B.S. WB: MS '70/8} 
has retired as dean of business and information tech- 
nology at Owens Community College in Toledo. Ohio. 

Don Jones, Ph.D., (B.S, '74/E; M.S. si/E) was chosen to 
serve as an editorial board member of the American 
College of Sports Medicine's Health &. Fitness Journal. 

Mark Kittrell(B5 75/ B) has worked in the residential 
mortgage industry since 1973- He co-founded Liberty 
Mortgage in 1997 ^ Richmond, Va. 

Janet Lenz (B.S-'76/l-l&S) was the recipient of the 
American Counseling Association's 2007 Professional 
Development Award. 

Henry Lowenstein, Ph.D., (BS.'75/B) is a business dean at 
the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration 
at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina. 

Garnet Miller* (B S ■72/B) recently retired from 
Fleetwood Travel Trailers after 33 years. Originally 
employed as a plant accountant, he moved into materi- 
als as a buyer at the plant level and was promoted to the 
eastern region assistant materials manager. He lives in 
Winchester, Va. 

Elaine Mitchell* (B.RA, '72) is vice president of Twelfth 
Night Club in New York City. 

Joe Nimerfroh (B.S '70/6; M.S. '73/B) is president of YTl 
Career Institute in Lancaster, Pa. 

Joyce Pritchard* (B.S. ^o/E) is the co-founder of the 
Southside Virginia Czech/Slovak Heritage Society. The 
group is building a database of all Czech/Slovaks that 
settled in Southside Virginia from 1887-1915- 

Thomas Savage (B.S, Ve/MC) was named, for the second 
consecutive year, to Virginia Business Magazine's 
'Legal Elite" in 2006. 


Derrick Artis. Ph.D.. (B S ■ss/M&S) has been named 
the Pennsylvania College of Optometry's Alumnus of 
the Year for 2006. He is the director of professional 
affairs at Vistakon, a division of Johnson and Johnson 
Vision Care Inc., in Jacksonville, Fla. 

Tammy CummingS (BS.'ss/MC) joined the Federal 
Reserve Bank of Richmond as vice president of human 
resources for the Fifth District. 

Bradley Gales (B S ■87/B) is the internal audit director 
at the Virginia Department of Transportation and is 
an accredited financial examiner. 

Barbara S. Gibbs (M.S. SS/M) has joined the law firm 
of Bose McKinney &. Evans in West Lafayette, Ind., 
as a counsel in the Intellectual Property Group. 

Craig Giese (B.S. 87/B) is a certified public accountant 
with Dehnert, Clarke & Co., P.C., in Irvington, Va. 

Robin Gliboff (MS.W. '83) is the associate executive direc- 
tor at Greenspring, in Springfield, Va. 

Stephen W. Harms (M.S.W. 62) is the deputy chief 
of staff for Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine. 

Andrev/ Hulcher* (B S aVB) is owner of Yes Events, 
based in Richmond, Va. 

Robert Killian (B F,A 81; MA, 87) received a first-place* 
award from Washington Book Publishers as designer 
of "Temple of Invention," authored by Charles J. 

30 I VCU Shafer Court Connections 

[ CLASS notes] 

Christopher Kilmartin, Ph.D., (MS. WM&S: PkD. 88/ 
M&S) was named a Fulbright Scholar. He is a psychology 
professor at the University of Mary Washington. 

Pamela Knox, Ph.D., (M.S. ■82/M&S; PkD. 'es/H&S) is 
the associate dean of the College of Graduate Studies 
and professor of psychology at Middle Tennessee State 

Lisa Laws (B.S Si/M&S) is a clinical research administra- 
tor at Duke University Medical Center. She is taking 
graduate classes at George Washington University 
toward a master's degree in health sciences with 
a concentration in clinical research administration. 

John Lawson, Ph.D., (M.A. '86/I-1&S) had his poetry chap- 
book, "Generations," published by St. Andrews College 
Press. He also was appointed coordinator of secondary 
education for Robert Morris University's English and 
communication teacher-certification programs. 

Lisa McColg (Cerl, 86/B) made the 2006 list of Virginia's 
"Super CPAs." 

Cassandra "Sandy" Reynolds* (B.S. '85/8) serves as 
president of the board of directors for Richmond 
Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity. 

Mark Steinhoff (B.A. ai/M&S) is a partner v^th Deloitte 
and Touche, based in Boston. 

Franlt Wallace* (B F A 'a?) was appointed to the Governor's 
Commission on National and Community Service. He 
is the director of Americorps and the America Reads 
Program at VCU. 

Eric Whittleton* (B.S. '84/B; Cert. WB) was elected 
as founding trustee of the VCU School of Business 
Foundation. He is the executive vice president of 
CACl International. 


Paul Adams (B.S. '90/M&S) was recognized by American 
Lawyer Media in May 2007 as one of I2 Pennsylvania 
minority attorneys "On the Verge." This distinction 
highlights lawyers on their way to greater accomplishments. 

Fitsum Andargue (B.S. 98/B} is an information tech- 
nology manager with GE Healthcare Financial Services 
in Bethesda, Md. He lives in Alexandria, Va. 

Chuck Aulino (B.S. '99/B) opened Action Autocycles, a 
used car and motorcycle dealership, in Richmond, Va. 

Ann Beverly (B.S qs/W&S: MS '97/W&S) is commission 
ombudsman for Virginia Workers' Compensation 
Commission. She also works part time as a VCU adjunct 

Tanya Bolyard (B S "99/B} became a Realtor and is the 
manager of Aegis Communications. 

Carl Davis (B.S. 92/8) was promoted to president and 
chief operating officer for TOS, a Richmond-based 
general contractor. 

Lynn Fielitz (Cert. '97/B) was promoted to associate 
professor of physical education at the United States 
Military Academy at West Point. N.Y. He is also the 
chief of the academy's information systems office. 

David W. Franke (BA, ^l/l-l&S) has earned his real estate 
broker's license and started a new company. Turnkey 
Real Estate Services. He and his wife, Casey, and their 
son. Thatcher, live in Richmond, Va. 

Brian Fritsche (B.S. 99/8) became president and CEO of 
TopForm Software Inc. in Adanta in November 2006. 

Edward Gerardo (MB A 90) is the director of com- 
munity health at Bon Secours Health System Inc. in 
Marnottsville, Md. 

Sherry Harper-McCombs (M FA '92/A} was awarded 
a $4,000 Central Pennsylvania Consortium Mellow 
Fellowship for her project, Costume Storage Solutions. 

She is the senior resident designer for the theatre and 
dance department at Dickinson College in Carlisle. Pa. 

Bobby Martin Jr. (B.F.A 99} is a design director of jazz 
at Lincoln Center in New York City. 

Todd McCarthy (B S. ■92/MC) is the director of athletic 

) at Ge 

i Tech . 

Ledelle Moe (M PA '96/A) received a Trustee Fellowship for 
Excellence in Teaching from Maryland Institute College 
of Art in 2OO6. She is a sculpture faculty member at MICA. 

Scott Naugle [B S 92/B) is co-founder and managing 

partner of Real Property Investment Management LLC 

in McLean. Va. 
Jason Pensler* (B.S. '96/H&S) is an assistant principal 

at Poplar Tree Elementary School in Chantilly. Va. 

He lives m South Riding, Va. 
Joshua Poteat (M FA. 97/H&S) won the 2005 Anhinga 

Press Prize for poetry, which included publication of 

his book, "Ornithologies." 


After decades of hard work, animator lands two hit shows 

Preschoolers and preteens may not know Bob Boyle (B.F.A. '86), but they probably 
know his shows. In just a year, "Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!" on Nickelodeon's pre-K channel 
Nick Jr. and "Yin Yang Yo!" part of Toon Disney's Jetix lineup, have made the animator's 
long-held dream a reality 

The secret behind his success boils down to passion and persistence. 

After college graduation, Boyle headed to New York City where he worked as a free- 
lance illustrator. "I had some good moments but it was sporadic," Boyle says. 

In the late 1980s, animation hit a popularity streak with blockbuster movies such as 
"The Little Mermaid" and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" - both products of Disney's 
California studios. That's when Boyle decided to switch coasts. 

"Cartoons are my first love," he says. "I really wanted to do my own show. It's a dream 
of a lot of people out here [in Los Angeles]." 

Boyle's first big break — landing a job on Howie Mandel's animated show "Bobby's World" 

— stemmed from a meeting with John Kricfalusi, creator of "Ren and Stimpy" Boyle also 
worked as an art director and producer on 
the "Fairly OddParents." 4 

In his spare time, Boyle continued to 
develop his own ideas. First came "Wow! 
Wow! Wubbzy!" Boyle designed the char- 
acters around stories his young niece, 
Viviana, would tell. The pair initially '■•■°- 
ated "Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!" as a 1^ 
which was then picked up by Nick Jr. as a 
cartoon for preschoolers, in spring 2006. 

"Wow! Wow! Wubbzy" hit the air that 
summer and has since gained national 
success, soon airing internationally. 

If debuting one show weren't enough, 
Boyle premiered "Yin Yang Yo!" on Toori 
Disney a week after "Wubbzy." 

Boyle once again credits his creation 

— a cartoon about brother and sister 
ninja bunnies — to his family; this tim*" *■" 
his wife, Teri, who's Japanese Am^| 
"She's exposed me to Japanese pop~cu 
ture, which influenced me a lot with m; 
drawings," Boyle says. 

With two new shows under his bell 
the VCU alumnus doesn't plan on slowin 
down. "I'm still working on more pitche 
and a couple of children's books," he says. ■ 
"I just want to keep creating." f 

[ CLASS notes] 

James Propst iB.A '94/\-i&S) is teaching German at East 
Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill. N.C. 

David Whitt* (B 5 oi/B) was a finalist for CFO of the Year 
in 2006 a\varded by Virginia Business Magazine. He was a 
founding member of the executive management team that 
formed Ca\-alier Telephone in Richmond, Va., in 1999. 

Barbie Wilson iB S ps/B) is a program technician for 
The Improvement Association in Emporia, Va. 


Joseph Bryant Jr. (B.S, oo/B) works as a risk manager 
for Fannie Mae. He lives in Centreville, Va. 

Mundy Hackett (MS. ■02/I-I&S) published a book v/ith 
the University of Missouri Press entitled "Missouri 
in Flight: The Bird Photography of Mundy Hackett," 
including more than lOO color images, interesting facts 
about Missouri birds and tips for amateur photographers. 

Leslie Hardesty* (B S. Ol/B) works as a treasui-y analyst 
with Qimonda North America. She and her husband 
also have started their own business. Nicholas W. 
Hardesty Construction. 

Christopher Hodgdon [PhD Od/B) received the 2005 
Outstanding Dissertation Award in international 
accounting from the American Association for 
"Empirical Examination of the Effect of Firm 
Compliance with the Disclosure Requirements 
of International Accounting Standards on the 
Characteristics of Analysts' Earnings Forecasts." 

Nicole Johnson (B.S 02/MC) was awarded the Ethel 
Payne Fellowship by the National Association of Black 
Journalists and traveled to South Africa to report on 
economic reform for women. 

Amanda Kay-Carpenter* (B.S, os/B) is an admissions 
counselor at Richard Bland College in Petersburg, Va. 


New class ring serves as a 'visible reminder' of VCU pride 

An important symbol of Virginia Commonwealth University's culturally rich and 
diverse community, the new official VCU class ring unifies the university's growing 
number of alumni. The ring is the result of a multiyear collaboration between Jostens 
Inc., the VCU Alumni Association, the MCV Campus and Monroe Park Campus 
Student Government associations, VCU Business Services, and the Division of 
Student Affairs and Enrollment Services. 

While each ring includes the university name and the ^^<^wBVv 
institution's 1838 founding date, a selection of four distinct ^^^L*id/^ 
symbols are available to ensure that the ring celebrates / 
each graduate's personal VCU accomplishments. I 

The compass has become synonymous 
with the heart of the university. An 
icon from the Monroe Park Campus 
is the multitiered iron fountain in 
the center of Monroe Park. From 
the MCV Campus, the Egyptian 
Building has become the most 
visible landmark and symbol of ^ 
the university's earliest history. 
Finally, the VCU Ram commemo- 
rates the university's school spirit and 

athletic accomplishments. Inside the ^ 

ring, the neighboring James River is depicted, 
along with two stars signifying VCU's two Richmond campuses. 

"This is a terrific milestone for VCU," says Reuban Rodriguez, Ph.D., associate vice 
provost and dean of student affairs at VCU. 'An official school ring is a daily visible 
reminder to us and to others of what a fantastic institution we have." 

The new ring made its debut in August and a special presentation ceremony for 
juniors and seniors will take place every October during Fall Fest. 

Through May 2008, graduates who purchased a class ring from August 2006 to 
August 2007 may trade in their ring for one with the new design free of charge. Other 
alumni can trade their ring for a $60 fee. 

To view or purchase an official VCU class ring, or for more details on trading in your 
ring, visit the Jostens Web site at 



More than 64,400 Monroe Park 
Campus alumni call Virginia home, \ "' ^ 
nearly 43,000 residing in the Richm< 
area. VCU Life Sciences has the I 
est percentage (86 percent) of alu 
living and working in the state, 
schools of Education and EngineeriTig 
run a close second, each with 83 
percent of their graduates located in 
the commonwealth. 

Ji Whan Kim (B.S. 05/B) is a general ledger accountant 
for Lutheran Family Services in Raleigh. N.C. 

Kelly Lowe* (B.S oo/B; M.S. 04/B) has joined Dominion 
Enterprises as the new marketing manager for the equip- 
ment dmsion with in Norfolk, Va. 

Debraj "Raj" Mukherjee (B S. ot/H&S) is enrolled 
in the Master of Public Health program at The Johns 
Hopkins University as a Sommer Scholar. 

Aleseia Saunders (B S. '03/B) is an acquisition specialist 
for the Defense Logistics Agency in Richmond, Va. 

Charles Watlington (B.F.A. '02) is a designer for Ogilvy 
and Mather's Brand Integration Group in New York 
City. His clients include CNN, Avon and Coca-Cola. 

Desi Wyatt (MBA 00) earned the Financial Planning 
■'Associate designation and joined Smith Barney as a 
financial adviser. 

Faculty and staff 

Paul Lan Brown, Ph.D.. associate professor in the 
Department of Biology, received a grant of more 
than $880,000 from the National Fish and Wildlife 
Foundation's Chesapeake Bay Targeted Watersheds 
Grant Program that will aid studies in oyster nutrients 
m aquaculture. 


Dwight Layne (BS. '92/H&S) married Melanie Boone 
on Sept. 2. 2006. They live in Richmond. Va. 

Gary Rule (B S 93/E) married Heather Johnson onjuly 
22. 2006. They live in Ashland. Va. 

John Sullivan (MB, A 98) married Janet Schwartz on 
March 17, 2007. He is a principal of Mass Mutual 
Financial Services. They live in Glen Allen. Va. 

Patrick White (B S. '98/MC) married Jennifer Doyle 
on Aug. 19, 2006. They live in Richmond. Va. 


Brooke Arnold (M,S.06/I-I&S) married Wyatt Decker 
on Oct. 8, 2006. She is a data quality manager at Bank 
of America. They live in Charlotte, N.C. 

Elizabeth Blackwell (BS. Od/MC) married Taylor Stone 
on Sept. 9, 2006. She is an advertising specialist with 
Circuit City Stores Inc. They live in Richmond, Va. 

Dara Butler (BS. OO/H&S; M.T 00} married Scott Geller 
on Aug. 5. 2006. She is a special education teacher in 
Henrico County. They live in Richmond. Va. 

Larry Cherry (B S OS/I-I&S) married Tara Turner on 
March 31. 2007. T~hey live in Chesterfield. Va. 

32 1 VCU Shafer Court Connections 

t's a great time 
oe a member! 

umni HssoGiaiion promoies a iiieiong connection to 

Yearly subscription to Shafer Court Connections. 

Low-cost Internet service through online@VCU, VCU's 
hardware and software store. 

Alunnni association window decal and nnembership card. 

Nationwide car and hotel discounts. 

International auto, hotel and air reservation service. 

Annual VCU Recreational Sports nnembership including 
use of university gynns and pools, equipnnent rentals 
and Outdoor Adventure Program trips (reduced fee). 

Playing privileges for the Thalhimer tennis courts. 

Opportunities to network with alumni at association- 
sponsored events. 

• Discount on VCU merchandise at campus bookstores. 

• Discount on tickets to VCU Athletics home events. 

» Discount on event or meeting space rentals in the 
Richard T. Robertson Alumni House (life members only). 

• Discounts on alumni association-sponsored events. 
" VCU Alumni Association MasterCard. 

• Participation in chapters. 

" Group rates on medical insurance, life insurance 
and long-term care insurance. 

• Customized VCU apparel. 

Start your annual membership in the VCU Alumni Association or African-American Alumni Council (includes 
VCUAA membership) today for just $35, or think big with a lifetime membership for $350 (payment plans available). 
VCUAA and AAAC membership dues are considered tax-deductible contributions. 

Renew or join for life, www.vcu-mcvalum: ' 

^#^^^1 Virginia Commonwealth University 

[ CLASS notes] 

C. Ryan Emmons (B.S. os/En) married Elizabeth Wilson 

on Jan. 6. 2007. He works at Luck Stone Corp. They 

live m Glen Allen. Va. 
Laura Estep [B.S. 02/B) married Trevor Atkins on 

March 24. 2007. They live in Chesterfield, Va. 
Courtney Green I'BS bft/H&S) married Kevin Jackson 

on July I, 2006. They live in Richmond. Va. 
Krista Hutcherson {BS.'OS/l-l&S) married William Keel 

II on Aug. 19, 2006. 

Kareem James (B S oo/B) married Keishanna Morris 
(B.S bl/MC) on Aug. 12, 2006. They live in Highland 
Springs, Va. 

Amanda Johnson {BS '06/B) married Robert Nester on 
March 10, 2007. They live in Mechanicsville, Va. 

Kara Kihm (Cea. bs/AMP, M.S.W. 05) married Peter 
Wilson on Sept. 2, 2006. She works for Bon Secours 
as a hospice social worker. They live in Richmond, Va. 

Dean Lewis* (B S. OS/H&S: B S. os/En) married Heather 

Cancer survivor serves as a model for other young women 

After braving a double mastectomy and a painful breast reconstruction process, 
Debbie Goldstone Horwilz (M.S.W. '02) is whole again. Today, the 35-year-old North 
Carolinian, a former child advocacy specialist, works to educate young women about 
breast reconstruction through her organization Myself: Together Again and a photo- 
graphic documentary of the same name 
that chronicles her journey. 

"1 want women to know that you can 
look good again and feel good again in 
your clothing," says Horwitz. Diagnosed 
with breast cancer three years ago, Hor- 
witz came up short in her search for 
photos of the reconstruction process, or 
even before-and-after images of women 
her age. 

So the patient became the model, 
and with the help of photojournalist 
Missy McLamb, Horwitz documented 
her experience, step by step. Those im- 
ages launched the MJA project in thi 
summer of 2005. The following sprin 
with the backing of Cornucopia Hous 
Cancer Support Center in Chape 
N.C., and a one-year grant from th 
Triangle Affiliate of Susan G. Kom< 
the Cure, the dramatic black-and-w 
photos appeared in print. ^ 

Horwitz's grassroots efforts to land the 3^ 

_ _ _l J. Ll ._( .L M__1.L 0-. ! 

Observer paper, National Public Radio and even the "Today" show. "When the story 
came out in The News & Observer ... we had 1,000 Web visits and when we were on 
NPR, we had 800 Web visits," Horwitz says. "Within a matter of months, even doctors 
- who we thought would be our biggest challenge because what doctor would want to 
carry another doctor's work in their office? - were asking for the booklet." 

The North Carolina doctors and medical community have breathed so much life into 
this project," says Horwitz. Now, she's looking to replicate the success she's had in her 
home state nationally. 

"All I want is that woman who's sitting in Oklahoma who has to go through breast 
reconstruction to have this resource," she says. "God, I just want the project to soar. ... I 
would love it if somebody said we want to print qualzillions of them." 

Per more information on Myself: Together Again, or to purchase the booklet, visit 

Kyle* (B.S. os/En) on Aug. 5, 2006. He is pursuing his 

Ph.D. in computer architecture at Georgia Institute 

of Technology and she is a junior BIOS engineer with 

American Megatrends Inc. They live in Atlanta. 
Kelly Machett (B.S. oo/B. M.S. '04/6) married J. Ryan 

Lowe on Sept. 17. 2006. 
Michael McKittrIck, Ph.D., (B 5 OO/En) married Alexis 

Wrenn on Dec. 9. 2006. They live in Amherst, N.Y. 
Christopher Parker (M.S. '06/E) married Anna Mullins 

(M Ed 05) on Aug. 26, 2006. They live in Eden, N.C. 
Jessica Plttman (B.F.A, 04) married Charles Jones 

on April 27, 2006. They live in Richmond, Va. 
Matthew Ray (B S OS/E) married Kate Jennings {B.S. 

OS/N) on Aug. 5. 2006. They live in Richmond, Va. 
Kellie Roche (B S '05/B) married Matthew Cox on Aug. 

26, 2006. They live in Mechanicsville. Va. 
Shelley Sabo (BS '04/N-. M.S bs/N) married Matthew 

Smith on April 21, 2007. They live in Richmond, Va. 
Kelleigh Shepard (B.S.W 02) married Scott Ledgerwood 

on May 20. 2006. TTiey live in Chesterfield. Va. 
Daniel Tassone, Ph.D., (B.S, OO/M&S; Pharm.D. 04) married 

K-imberly Kochan on Dec. 16, 2006. They live in 

Charlotte, N.C. 
Crisane Thomas (B.A, Ol/M&S} married Theodore Cook 

111 on Sept. 2. 2006. They live in Richmond, Va. 
Sara Turpin (B.S ■02/H&S; MT 02) married Michael Rowe 

on July I, 2006. They live in St. Stephens Church, Va. 
Brandy Wade (B.S .OO/i-l&S) married Kevin Morris 

on Feb. 17. 2007. They live in King William. Va. 
Alexander Weisz (BS- oa/B) married Jessica Amos on 

Aug. 6, 2006. He is a defense contractor for Defense 

Supply Center Richmond and a volunteer for Lakeside 

Rescue Squad, 
Amy Wyland (BS. ■02/H&S: M.Ed, 04) married Jarrett 

Wilson on Dec. 30, 2006. They live in Richmond, Va. 
Jill Zebrowskl (B S b3/MC) married Marc Cichowicz 

onjuly 28. 2006. 


Bethany Mullin (MA. 'Pa/B) gave birth to a baby girl, 
Avery, on Dec. 8, 2006, who joins sister, Lee, and 
brother. Lawton. She lives with her family in Colum- 
bus. Ga.. and works as an instructor of economics at 
Chattahoochee Valley College. 

Deborah Sauri (BE A, 93) gave birth to her first child, 
Kamryn Leigh Sauri, on Oct. 15. 2006. She lives in 
Arlington. Va., with her daughter and husband Michael. 

Nina Sims* (B.S. PS/MC) gave birth to Nathan LaMar on 
Sept. 28. 2006. SheUvesin Richmond, Va., with husband 
LaMar {B S. ■O6/I-I&S) and daughters Laxiryn and Kendall. 

Joy Voith (B-A WM&S) gave birth to her first child, 
Ryerson, in October 2005 . She lives in Seattle with 
her husband and works for Microsoft. 

John Winn (B,M, '93: M.M. '95) and his wife, Susanna 
Klein, welcomed son. Raif Solomon, on March 14., 

2006. He joins older brother Killian. 


Alice Alrich (B.S JS/MSS), of Spotsylvania, Va.,Jan. 30, 

2007, at age 95. She became the first superintendent 
of public welfare in Spotsylvania County in 1937- She 
also served as the director of the Spotsylvania Department 
of Social Services from 1972 untai979. 

CU Shafer Court Connections 


Lifetime M 

Stephen R. Adkins Sr. (B.S.. '74/B) 

Olujimi Ajijola (B.S. '74/3) 

Benjamin R. Allen (B.S. 'gz/B) 

Anthony L. Anderson (A.S. '70/En) 

Timothy A. Anderson (B.S. '80/H&S) 

Ntoh Atem-Tambe (M.S. '05/En) 

Laura Stirton Aust (B.F.A. '77) 

Alexander C. Baer (B.F.A. '70) 

Shirley S. Barker (B.S. 'Sz/B) 

MaryC. Bartelt (B.F.A. '67) 

Anthony R. Bedell 

Rosanna L. Bencoach (M.P.A. '95) 

Kristen E. Biggers (B.S. '04/H&S) 

Richard E. Blair (B.S. '93/En) 

Robin J. Blandford (M.B.A. '83) 

Dr. Fred C. Bolton Jr. (Ph.D. 'oz/H&S) 

BarryJ. Bomboy (M.B.A. '80) 

Pamela K. Bomboy (M.Ed. 'Si) 

John R. Boothby (M.S.W '77) 

Pauline S. Boxley (M.Ed. '88) 

William C. Boycejr. (B.S. ■73/HS.S) 

Carl Andrew Branch Sr. 

Sylvestine Pat Branch (B.A. 'oe/H&S) 

David B. Browe (B.S. '70/B) 

DonnaJ. Browe (B.S. ■70/B) 

Carolyn D. Brown (B.S. '79/B) 

Dr. Frank L. Brown Jr. (M.B.A. 'oi) 

Stephanie Brown 

Dennis Burrus (B.S. ■07/H&S) 

Alton M. Butler Jr. (B.S. '98/6) 

Hudson L. Byrd 111 (B.S. 'gi/B) 

Kathleen V. Caffrey (M.Ed. '81) 

Julia M. Cain (B.S. 'oi/En) 

Nicholas E. Cain (B.S. 'Ol/En) 

Harvey E. Chambers (B.S. '82/MC) 

Jane C. Chandler (B.S. '66/E) 

Ronald H. Chandler (B.S. 'Sg/MC) 

Donna Lou W. Clarke (B.S. '86/B) 

Robert E. Clay (B.A. '93/H&.S) 

Carolyn L. Clemente (B.S. '73/MC) 

Barbara B. Cockburn (B.S. 'Sa/E) 

John G. Golan (B.S. '72/B) 

Kenneth L. Gortrightjr. (B.S. '75/MG) 

NickiW. Cortright (B.S. '75/E) 

Antonia Jane Couleman (B.F.A. '68) 

Brian M. Crewe (B.S. '94/8) 

Linda Crewe 

Patricia B. Cushnie (B.S. '70/N) 

Brian K. Davis (B.S. 'Se/H&S) 

W. Lauraine Davis (B.A. •84/H&S) 

Dr. Harold F. Demsko (B.S. ■81/H&S) 

David R. Dennier (B.S. '75/B) 

Maureen O'Haire Dingus (B.S. '90/MG) 

Stephen G. Dingus (B.A. '91/H&S) 

Hunter Nelson Dominick (B.F.A. 'g6) 

David J. Domster (B.S. '85/8) 

Sue S. Donaldson (B.S. '71/E) 

Carolyn E. Duckworth (B.F.A. '76) 

J. Chris Earley (B.F.A. 'g8) 

Sandra Earley 

Randolph D. Eleyjr. (B.S. '70/B) 

James A. Estep (B.S. '04/En) 

Nancy C. Everett (B.S. '78/B) 

Linda L. Ferrell (M.A. ■84/A) 

FayeW. Forbes (B.S. ■54/MC) 

Kateresea L. Ford (B.S. 'gG/H&S) 

Quo Vadis Ford 

Donald G. Frost (B.S. '73/8) 

H. Lewis Garrett (B.G.S. •84/H&S) 

Joan Loren Gaustad (B.F.A. '76) 

Deborah Prince Gibrall (B.S. '79/H&S) 

Barbara E. Gibson (B.S. 72/MG) 

Harold L. G.les (B.S. 'gi/H&S) 

Floyd J. Glidewell (B.S. 'eg/H&S) 

Dr. Chesley S. Goldston II (M.S. 'Se/H&S) 

Rebecca M. Goshorn (M.Ed. '94) 

Rachel A. Grace (B.S. 'Ti/E) 

Diana L. Gross-Bendall (B.S. '95/8) 

WiUiam K. Hammack (B.S. ■67/E) 

Andrew T. Harris 111 (B.S. '99/B) 

Angelica E. Bega Hart (B.A. 'oi/H&S) 

Daniel C. Hart (B.A. 'oi/HaS) 

John E. Hayek (M.S. '78/AHP) 

Mehssa Beth Hays-Smith (M.S.W. '82) 

Michael L. Hill (B.S. ^S/E) 

Dr. Oakley Norman Holmes Jr. (M.A./A) 

Eleanor R. Hoskins (M.S.W. '06) 

Barbara G. Howson (M.Ed. '03) 

Rhonda L. Hoyle (A.S. '88/AHP) 

Lee E. Huffman (B.F.A. '73) 

Andrew C. Hulcher (B.S. '84/B) 

Peter E. Imhof (M.F.A. 'og/H&S) 

Ernest B. IrbyJr. (•71/MC) 

Margie C. Irby (B.S. '91/B) 

Elizabeth F. Jarrard (M.Ed. '82) 

Edriene Johnson-Butcher (B.S. '73/H&S) 

Eric A. Johnston (B.S. '97/B) 

Alan W.Jones Jr. (B.S. 'ga/B) 

Charlotte C.Jones (B.S. 'gS/N) 

Michelle D.Jones (B.S. •87/H&S) 

Karen S. Kettinger (B.S. 'gg/B) 

B. Carroll Kincaid (B.S. 'Sg/HaS) 

Joyce B. Kincaid (B.G.S. 'So/H&S) 

Carolyn M. King (B.S.W. '83) 

Johnny A. Kitts (M.P.A. '83) 

William M. Koehler Jr. (B.S. 'Ol/B) 

Michael W. Koontz (M.S. '98/B) 

Beverly P. Leonard (M.S. '90/AHP) 

Charles L. Leonard (B.S. '63/H&S) 

Gary M. Levison (M.S. '75/H&S) 

Ruth K. Levison 

Deborah S. Little (B.S. 'g7/B) 

Vicki R. Livingston (B.F.A. '63) 

Donald Louie (B.S. '72/H8:S) 

G. David Magill (B.S. 'sS/E) 

Craig M. Martin (M.B.A. 'gi) 

Joan N. Martin (A.S. '71/B) 

Dr. Jane Massey-Redd (M.Ed. '78) 

David H. Mawyer (B.S. 'oS/En) 

Daylon S. McCarty (B.S. ■g4/H&S) 

AUan P. McLearen (B.S. '74/8) 

Mary L. McLearen (B.S. '75/E) 

Frank B. Mitchell (B.S. '72/B) 

Jacques P. Monteran (B.S. '80/E) 

Carole E. Morck (Cert. '5g/A) 

Elizabeth N. Morgan (B.F.A. '05) 

John D. Morgan (B.S. 'gS/H&S) 

Patricia B. Morgan (B.S. '71/E) 

Keith G. Morse (B.S. 'go/H&S) 

Donald E. MosmanJr. (M.B.A. 'ga) 

Thomas Moyer III (B.S. "86/8) 

Catherine A. Mueller (B.S. '87/B) 

Thomas C. Mulvin (B.S. '93/B) 

PaulJ. Murmanjr. (B.S. '74/B) 

DonnaJ. Navarro (B.S. 'OO/B) 

M. Pinson Neal 111 (B.A. '88/H&S) 

Tina Kohn Neal (M.A. '92/8) 

DeLoaneW. Newman (B.S. '76/B) 

Allison K. Obershaw (B.A. 'Ol/H&S) 

Cupid Ojala (B.F.A. '99) 

Jacquelin Harmon Olbert (B.A. •86/H&S) 

Tammy E. Parece (B.LS. 'oe/H&S) 

Carol McCall Patterson (B.S. '83/A) 

Rev. Graham M. Patterson (M.S. 'oi/AHP) 

Eugene H. Payne (B.S. '5g) 

Michael S. Peasley (B.S. 'gS/H&S) 

Nicole R. Peasley (B.S.W. •g4) 

Dr. Marcia Penn (B.S. '72/SW) 

George R. Peterson (Cert. 'g4/H&S) 

James M. Pitts (B.S. '71/B) 

W. Larry Powell (B.S. 'SS/MC) 

J. Douglas Pridgen Jr. (B.S. '79/B) 

Joyce M. Pritchard (B.S. '70/E) 

Michael D. Pritchard (B.S. '68/B) 

Marcus Rediker (B.A. ■77/H&S) 

Justin T. Reed (B.S. 'oi/B) 

Peter L. Rikard (B.S. '77/B) 

Susan W. Rikard (B.S. '86/MC) 

Jacqueline L. Roberts (B.S. '78/E) 

Larry Thomas Roberts 

Madeline B. Roberts (B.S.W. '04) 

Dr. Reuban Rodriguez 

Suzanne Rodriguez 

Douglas S. Rogers 

Marilyn Cox Rooney (B.A. '72/H8.S) 

Dr. Fred P. Rosen (B.S. •74/H&S) 

Rachael Rossmeissl (B.S. '07/HS.S) 

Dr. Ernst M. Schubert (M.S. '7g/H&S) 

Lynn Payne Schug (B.S. ■83/H&S) 

Allison E. Sharpe-Peterson (B.A. '85/H&S) 

Thomas A. Sheets (B.S. 'gS/B) 

Dr. Robert R. Siegel (M.Ed. '71) 

Benjamin D. Sillmon 111 (B.S. '86/B) 

Vivian E. Sillmon (M.S. 'g4/B) 

Dr. Adelaide W. Simpson (M.S. '80/HS.S) 

Norma V. Simpson (B.S. '6g/E) 

David P. Singer (M.S.W. 'gg) 

TroyD. Small (B.S. 'oe/H&S) 

Kenneth S. Smith Jr. (B.S. '03/H&S) 

Bonnie Steffey 

E. Garrison Steffey Jr. (B.S. 'eg/E) 

Tracy R. Stevens (B.S. 'oo/B) 

Casey S. Stewart (B.F.A. '06) 

Stephen K. Struder (B.S. '84/B) 

James A. Stygar (B.F.A. '66) 

Dr. Mary R. Sudzina (B.S. '70/^ 

Michael Sullivan (M.S. 'oi/B) 

Patricia A. Sunko- Imhof 

Gregory P. Swanson (B.S. 'Sl/MC) 

Trang D. Ta (B.S. 'g7/H&S) 

Sheila Y. Tapscott (M.T. 'gs) 

Mark G. Taylor (B.S. '05/6) 

Jeffrey D. Tiller (B.A. '05/H&S) 

Thomas S. Tippit (B.S. 'oo/H&S) 

John R. Tucker (B.S. 'g2/B) 

Lelia B. Tyson (B.S. '6g/B) 

Jo C. Vaden (B.A. ■02/H&S) 

Linda E. Vernon (B.S. '83/AHP) 

William R. Vernon (Cert. '84/B) 

Adam D. Walger (B.A. '04/H&S) 

Frederick B. Wayne (B.A. '70/H&S) 

Romany Sear Wilkinson (M.S.W. '70) 

FrankA. Williams Jr. (B.S. '7g/H&S) 

Gerald L.Witt (B.S. '73/E) 

Barbara A. Wright (B.S. '70/E) 

Brandon Edward Wysowsld (B.S. '07/H&S) 

WalterJ. Zenda (M.B.A. '80) 

Stephen R. Zentmeyer (B.S. '70/H&S) 

GaryD. Zwicker (M.B.A. '78) 

List includes individuals who joined the VCU Alumni Association or the 
^iican-American Alumni Council as lifetime members betii'eenjuty 1. 
2006. and June 30, 20oy. 


[class notes] 


Elizabeth Mitchell (BF A 42), of Lynchburg, Va., April 
29. 2007. at age 86. 


Lillian Atkinson (Cert. ■5i/AHP;B.S.5i/W&S). of CharlottesviUe. 

Va.. Oct. 21, 2006, at age 83. 
Edgar Barnhill Jr., Ph.D., (B RA 51) of Ventura. Calif.. 

March 15. 2007. at age 80. 

Emile Cahen Jr. (Sq/A). of Richmond, Va., Jan. 26, 
2007- He retired as the art director of the Richmond 
Times-Dispatch and was a well-known artist. 

William Heywood (BFA '52), of Richmond. Va., March 
9, 2007, at age 79. 

Mary Jo Krueger (BS Si/E), of Richmond, Va., Sept. 10. 
2006, at age 77- She was a social worker for Richmond 
Public Schools and the director of psychiatric socicJ 
work services for Tucker Hospital. 


Twenty-year-old rap song turns Into classroom history lesson 

Saryn Hatcher, Ed.D., (B.A. '94/A) grew up in the 1980s when hip-hop music first be- 
gan. Living in the Bronx, he was surrounded by the music he considered pure. He grew 
to love the new sounds and beats. But his father had a different opinion. 

"My father was very strict so I couldn't really get into that lifestyle," Hatcher says. "I 
really liked that sound and it stayed with me." 

His father didn't stop him from participating in rap battles with classmates at school 
and then later in the Navy. At 19 years old Hatcher walked into a recording studio in 
Jacksonville, Fla., where he was stationed, and seven hours later walked out with his 
own recorded rap song. 

"Fifty Black People That We Should Know" was accompanied with an old-school hip- 
hop beat and the words rang more like a history lesson. 
"I wanted to make music that meant something," he says. 

Growing up, Hatcher used to write book reports for his father, chronicling different 
black people. He decided to rehash those reports and make it into a song. 

"I wanted to give back to all the people who did so much for the African-American 
people," Hatcher says. "I chose people who I thought were interesting and very influen- 
tial. I started doing research and one person led to another." 

After trying unsuccessfully to get his song played 
I on the radio, he eventually put it away. 

Twenty years have now passed, as has Hatch- 
er's dream of becoming a rap star. 

Now he is a junior high school principal and 
<' decided to revisit his original song and give it a 
; different twist. Hatcher re-recorded it in a spoken 
I word format instead of a rap beat. 

"I wanted others to listen to the message, not 
the messenger," says Hatcher. "Now it has a more 
universal feel for young and old." 

Teachers at Hatcher's school use "Fifty Black 
People That We Should Know" in their class- 


The VCU alumnus hopes that someday his 
song and message will be turned into a PBS spe- 
cial, profiling influential black people. 

But what does his father think about the book 
reports that turned into a rap song and now turned 
into a teaching tool in Florida classrooms? 

"He is proud of me, but said I still owe him one 
more book report," Hatcher says. 

7b listen to Hatcher's song visit http://cdbaby 

Julian "Junnie" Latimer Jr. (B S Si/B). of Richmond, 

Va., June 28. 2006, at age 82. 
Frances Leopold (B,S 'Si/H&S). of Carmel. Ind.. Aug. 

30. 2006. 
Leslie "Bud" Long Jr. (B S, ■52/B), of Midlothian. Va.. 

April 20, 2007. at age 78. He founded Long Advertis- 
ing Agency. 
John "Jack" McLean (BS so/B), of Richmond. Va.. 

May 7. 2007. 
Aubrey Shuler (B.S 57/B). of Hopewell. Va.. Feb. 20. 

2007. at age 71- He was a retired auditor for the Virginia 

Department of Transportation. 
Lucy Smith (B.S. sy/H&S; M.Ed. 'yj). of Richmond. Va., 

Jan. 20, 2007. at age 89. She was a teacher for 38 years 

in Richmond Public Schools, Highland, Henrico and 

Chesterfield county schools. 
Caroline Wiley (B S. '52/E), of Petersburg, Va.. Aug. I2, 

2006, at age 76. 


Mary Arrington (M 5W. 67), of Broadway, Va., Sept. 11, 

2006, at age 89. She retired after 36 years as director 

of the Virginia Department of Social Services. 
John Bevell (M Ed 05), of Boydton. Va., Oct. 9, 2006, 

at age 74- He was president of John D. Bevell Inc. 

Insurance Agency since 1959- 
James Cooley (B.S. '68/B), of Frederick, Md., Oct. 22, 

2006, at age 68. He retired from Humble Oil/Exxon 

after 27 years. 
Dominick DeMarco Sr. (B S ■63/B). of Richmond. Va., 

Oct. 14, 2006. at age 79. He retired from the U.S. 

Postal Service after 40 years. 
James FitzPatrick (B.S 62/B), of Leonardtown, Md.. 

Nov. 8, 2006, at age "JO. He worked as controller for 

international operations from Invensys Controls Co. 

for 35 years, retiring in 2000. 
Calvin Harrison (B.S. 66/8), of Midlothian, Va., Jan. 

9, 2007, at age 84. He worked for E.I. duPont de 

Nemours for 34 years. 
Thomas Hawthorne Sr. (B.S. '60/6), of Virginia Beach, 

Va., Jan. 11, 2007. at age 68. He retired as a wage and 

hour compliance officer for the federal government 

after 20 years. 
Horace Hill (6O/B), of Richmond, Va.. Feb. 18. 2007, 

at age 78. He retired after 35 years as a technician with 

W.G. Speeks Inc. Heating and Cooling. 
Phyllis Houser (BE A 65). of Richmond, Va.. March 

26. 2007. at age 84. She retired as the director of 

statewide services at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. 
Doris Kizer (B.S 68/E), of Richmond. Va., Aug. 23, 

2006. at age 83. She was a retired teacher from 

Chesterfield County schools. 
Donald Kniesche (AS. '69/B), of Montpelier. Va., Feb. 

4, 2007, at age Jl. 
Richard Kraus (M. HA. 64). of Midlothian. Va., Oct. 28, 

2006. at age 70. He was the first CEO of Chippenham 

Medical Center. 
Lt. Col. Virgil Mansfield (B.S. "65/8; MS, WE), of Ocala. 

Fla., April 14, 2007. He retired after 20 years in the 

U.S. Army and became a VCU professor until 197^- 
Richard "Dick" Meador (B.S 62/8), of Waynesboro, 

Va., Aug. 31, 2006. at age 66. He was senior vice 

president and regional agency manager for BB&T 

Insurance Services. He was a delegate in 1985 to 

the White House Conference on Small Business, a 

member of the 1986 Inaugural Committee for the 

Governor of Virginia, and served on the VCU Board 

of Visitors. 


Your contributions didn't just make this university a better place for learning. 

You made the world a better place for living. 

[class notes] 

li Association 

VCUAA officers 

C. Dandridge Massey. C.M.B. (B.S. 'gz/B). 

Donna M. Dalton (M.Ed, 'oo), president-elect 
Patricia E. Green (M.S.W. "74)- secretary 
Kenneth "Ken" A. Thomas (B.S. '91/B). treasurer 
Jo Lynne S. DeMary (M.Ed. '72), immediate past 

Thomas H. Beatty (B.A.'93/H&S), officer-at-large 

School alumni board chairs 
Steven B. Brincefield. C.P.M., 
School of Business 

(M.S. '74/B), 

Board of Directors 
Term expiring 2008 

RobertA. Almond (B.S. •74/E; M.S. 'Ss/E) 
Elizabeth J. Moran (M.P.A. '92) 
Jacqueline Tunstall-Bynum (B.S. '82/HSlS) 

Term expiring 2OO9 

Peter A. Blaie (B.A. 'So/H&S; M.S. 'SS/MC) 

Suzette P. Denslow (B.S. ■79/H&S) 

Irvin "Jack" Farmer (B.S. '69/B). presidential 

William R. O'Connell Jr. (B.E.M. '55) 
Thomas A. Silvestri (M.B.A. '86) 
Patricia 1. Wright (M.Ed. '84) 

Term expiring 2010 

Rejena G. Carreras (B.F.A. '70; M.A.E. 'So) 

William L. Davis (B.S. ■74/B: M.S. ■79/H&S) 

David R. Dennier (B.S. '75/B) 

Stephanie L. Holt (B.S. ■74/H&S) 

Gary M. Inman (M.A. '93/A) 

Stephen H.Jones (B.S. 'yS/B) 

Shirley R. McDaniel (B.G.S. 'gg/H&S) 

MaryE. Perkinson (B.F.A. '9I; B.S. 'os/En) 

John J. Schwartz (B.S. '69/B) 

Vickie M. Snead (B.S. '76/6) 

African-American Alumni Council 

Franklin Wallace (B.F.A. '87). president 
Joseph Tyner (M.S. '92/B), treasurer 
Mary Francis (B.S. '95/H&.S). secretary 
Rodney Harry (B.S. '90/HS.S), parliamentarian 
Edward Robinsonjr. (B.G.S. 'oo/H&S: 
M.S.W. '03). VCUAA representative 

Young Alumni Council 

Gaurav "G" Shrestha (B.S. '03/B), president 

Caroll Obaugh (62/B). of Richmond, Va., Jan. 15. 

2007. at age 71. He worked as an executive for Ukrop's 

for 26 years. He also was a board member for the 

Central Virginia Foodbank. 
Leonard Perks Jr. fB S. 67/B), of Lively, Va., May 16, 20o5. 
Clifford "Mike" Pocklington (&S,69/MC), of Richmond. 

Va., April 4, 2007. at age 64. He was a commercial 

photographer for more than 25 years. 
Morton Rudnick (B.S. 69/B). of Richmond, Va., Aug. 

17. 2006, at age 59. 
Edith Shaffer fBS,67/SW), of Richmond, Va., Aug. 7, 2006. 
Henry Steinruck (A.S '67/Eo), of Chesterfield, Va., Jan. 

9, 2007, at age 59. 

James Taylor (B FA 69), of Snow Hill, Md., Aug. 16, 
2006, at age 84. He retired in 1979 as the director of 
rehabilitation therapies at Eastern Shore State Hospital 
in Cambridge, Md. 

Page Traylor (M Ed SS), of Chester, Va., Nov. 30. 
2006. at age 66. She was a member of faculties at 
Colonial Heights Middle School in Colonial Heights, 
and Providence Middle School and Thomas Dale High 
School in Chesterfield County. 

Wallace White (BS.66/B), of Stuarts Draft, Va., Nov. 
12. 2006, at age 67. 


Edwana Bennett (B.S '/s/l-l&S), of Charlottesville, Va.. 
Sept. 7' 2005. at age 54- ^^^ ^^^^ ^ teacher at Buford 
Middle School, an adult education teacher and a 
counselor at Region Ten. 

Jon Blackwell (BS yy/E), of Richmond, Va., Sept. 9. 
2006. at age 55- ^^ ^^^ ^ HPL production supervisor 
for more than 14 years for Qubica AMF. 

Henry "Bill" Brown (M.Ed. '75; M.B.A, 78: MS 'Jo/AI-IP). 
formerly of Greenville. N.C.. Feb. 9. 2007. He 
was a Navy veteran and previously worked for HCA. 
Richmond Memorial Hospital, and was a math 
teacher at the Richmond Home for Boys. 

Laverne Davis (M.Ed 75), of Richmond. Va., Aug. 16, 
2006. She retired from Richmond Public Schools 
after 34 years of teaching. 

Helen Dorsk (B.S, ■74/E: M.Ed, 82), of Richmond, Va.. 
Sept. 21. 2006. She taught in Henrico County Public 
Schools from 1974 to 1980. 

Alice Ford (B.S. '78/H&S), ofVarina, Va.. Sept. 30, 
2006, at age 78. 

Susan Gerner (B FA 73), of Stow. Mass., Nov. 12, 2006. 

Berkley Graham (B,S,'7i/E), of Mechanicsville. Va., 
Dec. 7. 2006, at age 59- She worked as a teacher and 
director of the New Hanover Presbyterian Church 
preschool prograni. 

Eugene "Gene" Grumbine Jr. (B.S, ^o/M&S), of Glen 
Allen. Va., Aug. 25. 2006. He worked for the state 
crime lab for more than 30 years. 

Eva Gulyas (BS ■74/H£,S), of Richmond, Va., Feb. 7. 2007. 

George "Randy" Humrickhouse Jr. (B.S '7o/\-\&S: M.S. 
■74/H&S), of Wytheville, Va., April 23, 2007. at age 61. 

Stanley Lewis ('70/B), of Hartfteld, Va., Dec. 25, 20o6. 
at age 65- He served as the commissioner of the revenue 
of Middlesex County for 23 years. He also was a found- 
ing member of the Kiwanis Club in Middlesex. 

Vivien Lohmeyer (B S 73/l-lfi(S), ofPottstown, Pa. .Jan. 
26. 2007. at age 86. She was an administrative assistant 
for Reynolds Aluminum Corporation for 36 years, 
retiring in 1986. 

Sally McConnaughey (B,A '73/t-l&S), of Amelia, Va., 
Aug. 23. 2006. She studied law at the University of 
Mississippi, received her Juris Doctor and practiced law 
in Amelia County. 

Joan Elaine Nelms (B FA '71). of Marshall, Va., Sept. 5, 

2006. at age 57. 

Elsa Porte (B.S "77/E). of Richmond. Va., April 25. 

2007. at age 83. She was a teacher for more than 
40 years. 

Lorraine Pulley (B.S, '76/E), of Mechanicsville. Va., Aug. 

24. 2006. 
Freda Rollings (M.Ed. '74), of Moseley. Va.. Dec. 20, 20o6. 

at age 71. She retired from Chesterfield County Schools, 

having been a teacher and counselor for 40 years. 
Nellie Scott (BS ^P/M&S). of Powhatan. Va.. Nov. 25. 

2006, at age 66. 

Thomas Scott (B S ^i/B), of Washington, D.C.. Nov. 

8. 2006. 
Randolph "Randy" Shipman (BS. '74/E; M.Ed, '82), of 

Walkerton, Va.. Feb. 25, 2007, at age 60. He was a 

teacher and worked with the mentally and physically 

Rosa Tapscott (M Ed 78), of Richmond, Va.. Aug. 27. 

2006. at age 62. She retired in 2003 as the associate 

director of early childhood education for Hanover 

County public schools. 
Timothy Trusdell (B.A, ■72/l~l&S), of Richmond, Va., 

Jan. 13, 2007. at age 62. 
Dante Umbi (B S 'vz/B), of Richmond. Va., Dec. 13, 

2006. at age 83. He worked as a tax examiner for 

the Virginia Department of Taxation until 2004- 


Clara Akinleye (B.S. 'Bi/B), of Richmond, Va., Dec. 4, 

2006. at age 50. 

Carolyn Bond (B FA. 89), of Richmond, Va., Feb. 17, 

2007, at age 64. She was a life member in the Beta 
Sigma Phi sorority and worked for C&P Telephone 
Co., Timmons Group, and H.C. Yu and Associates. 

Steven Forssenius (B.S. 84/I-I&S), of Palm Springs, 

Calif, Aug. 25, 2006, at age 47. 
Linda Howard-Lazarus (B.A. 89/ H&S), of San Antonio, 

Texas. July 26, 2006, at age 39. 
Stephen Meredith (BS, 89/B). of Richmond. Va., Sept. 

18, 2006, at age 45- ^^ ^^^ ^ CPAand started his ov/n 

business where he served clients for more than 20 years, 
William "Bill" Shelor III {BS.'89/B), of Atlanta, Dec. 

20, 2006, at age 3g. 
Thomas Smalles III (B.F.A. 39), of Chesterfield, Va., Dec. 

28. 2006 at age 41- ffe worked as a sound technician. 
Albert Smith Jr. (BS 'as/M&S; BS, 83/B), formerly 

of Richmond, Va,, March 18, 2OO7, at age 72. 


Geraldine Bridger (BG S ■qs/M&S). of Chester. Va., 

April 21. 2007. at age 54- ^^^ ^^^ ^ retired scientist 

with Philip Morris. 
Craig Brumback (BS. WB), of Charlottesville, Va., 

Aug. 9, 2006. at age 40. He was the co-owner of 

Alanbach Construction Co. 
Lisa Knott (BS. 'po/E). of Roswell. Ga., Sept. 19. 2006. 
William Lee (B-S'95/B), of Madison Heights, Va.. April 

3, 2007. at age 52. 
Stacey Sprenkle (B F A, '90), of Richmond, Va., Oct. 4, 

2006. at age 38. She worked in pharmaceutical sales 

with Schering-Plough and Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc. 


Mary Elizabeth Brooks (B.S.OS/M&S). of Richmond. 

Va.. Sept. 13, 2006, at age 24- She worked for the 

Henrico County School System and was a member 

of Trinity United Methodist Church. 
Jonathan Zanin (BS. '05/B), of Richmond, Va., May 7, 

2007- 'Jonny Z" was an activist, artist and musician. 

For the past two years had organized fundraisers for 

the city's FoodNotBombs group, which feeds the 

community in Monroe Park. 

Faculty and staff 

Alden Bigelov/. of Charlottesville, Va., Dec. 12. 2006. 
at age 88. He taught 25 years in the Department of 
History at VCU. Upon his retirement he was made 
professor emeritus at VCU and a scholarship was 
established in his honor. 

38 I VCU Shafer Court Connections 

jj z r^i I 


Shafer Court Connections 
welcomes updates on job 
changes, marriages, relocations 
— whatever is newsworthy. 
Help us keep track of you by 
sending your news to: 


Show spirit! 

VCU black and gold 

Quality polos, Tommy Hilfiger 
apparel, sweatshirts, oxfords, 
outerwear, ladies apparel, bags, 
hats and fan packs are available 
online. Buy for yourself or 
give a gift to a friend; shop 
the Virginia Commonwealth 
University merchandise store 

VCU Alumni Association mem- 
bers receive 10 percent off all 
orders. Call (804) 828-2586 to 
get your online promotion code. 

The online merchandise store is 
brought to you by a partnership be- 
tween VCU Alumni Association and 
Campus Casuals by Club Colors. 




VCU School of Engineering mourns death of associate dean 

Barton B. Cregger, who helped guide the Virginia Commonwealth University School 
of Engineering through its infancy and served as its unofficial "dean of students," died 
March 27, 2007. He was 49- 

"Bart's loss to us is immeasurable," says Russell D. Jamison, 
Ph.D., School of Engineering dean. "He did everything involvirra 
counseling, advising, encouraging and cajoling undergraduater-.. , 

students in the School of Engineering and was in that sense the 
head cheerleader and parent figure for many of our students." 

Cregger completed his bachelor's and master's degrees 
at the University of Virginia, where he studied under Robert ^ 

J. Mattauch, former dean of the VCU School of Engineering. 
Mattauch recruited Cregger to VCU in 1998 as an assistant 
professor in the department of electrical engineering. 

"Bart was a truly exceptional friend and colleague who was de- 
voted to the School of Engineering and wanted the very best for each and every student," 
Mattauch says. "As associate dean he got the job done with the greatest accuracy, in the 
least amount of time and always with attention to the feelings of the people involved. 

"These are characteristics he has exhibited since he was a student of mine," 
Mattauch says. "Bart has been a part of my family for nearly 30 years, and my wife and 
I will miss him greatly." 

A scholarship has been established in Cregger's memory. 

Architect of School of Social Work Ph.D. program passes 

Martin Adier, Ph.D., who helped develop Virginia Commonwealth University's School 
of Social Work doctorate program, died Nov. 30, 2006. He was 78. 

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, "AdIer was a nationally known devel- 
oper of social work doctorate programs when VCU tapped him in 1975 to come to 
Richmond. He retired in 1995- 

The Newark, N.J., native found his avocation early, working with social conflict- 
resolution issues in high school. After earning a bachelor's degree at Rutgers University, 
he served in the Korean War. ... After the war, AdIer earned master's and doctoral 
degrees in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh, where he became chairman of 
that school of social work's doctoral program." 

VCU alumnus and Online@VCU manager Allan Brooks dies 

Allan E. Brooks (B.S. '73/B), a longtime Virginia Commonwealth University employee, 
died July 11, 2007, at age 57. As a student at VCU in the early 1970s, Brooks served as 
chairman of the VCU Concert and Dance Committee, bringing Kenny Rogers, Alice 
Cooper, the Beach Boys and many other prominent acts to campus. 

In the fall of 1990, Brooks returned to VCU as manager of 
the then Academic Campus Bookstore (nowthe e' Bookstore). 
He also managed the Fan Fair store, providing VCU gifts and ' 
apparel in the University Student Commons. More recently, j 
Brooks managed VCU's technology store, Online@VCU. 

"In every assignment, he was dedicated to serving students, 
faculty and staff," says Dan McDonald, assistant director, VCU 
Business Services. "Virginia Commonwealth University has 
lost a loyal and loving member of the university community," 
McDonald adds. 'Allan will be missed by his many friends and 
colleagues at VCU." 

Fall 2007 I 39 


'Dr. Wally,' longtime management professor at VCU, dies 

Wallace Johnston, D.B.A., a management professor at Virginia Commonwealth 
University and a well-known workplace commentator, died May 17, 2007, from cancer 
at the age of 69. 

Johnston taught at VCU from 1971 to 1996, retiring as an associate professor emeri- 
tus. As a teacher, he specialized in the areas of administrative theory, organizational 
behavior and communications. 

E.G. Miller, Ph.D., senior associate dean for the School of Business, says Johnston 
was a demanding teacher who had a profound impact on his students. 

"He became an important mentor to a lot of his students," Miller says. "And that 
mentorship would often carry over after they left VCU." 

After retirement, Johnston, who was known as "Dr. Wally," wrote columns on work 
and workplace issues that were carried in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the St. Louis 
Post-Dispatch and were syndicated to 16 other newspapers. His commentaries could 
be heard on Public Radio, WCVE 88.9 FM, twice a week. 

He was also a management consultant, speaker and workshop leader and continued 
to lecture at VCU in the Executive M.B.A. program and in the Center for Corporate 

Johnston published more than 300 academic and trade articles and two books, 
"Speaking of Work," and, "What Every Manager Needs to Know," (co-authored), as well 
as several recordings and videos. 

Friends, colleagues and former students have raised $30,000 to name a room in 
Johnston's honor at the new School of Business building, and former students Thomas 
and Vickie Snead contributed $120,000 for a scholarship in his name. 

Abbreviation key 

Alumni are identified by degree, year and 
college or school. Asterisk (*) denotes members of 
the VCU Alumni Association. 

Christopher E. Desch. of Richmond, Va., Dec. 
10, 2006. He was an adjunct professor at VCU's 
Massey Cancer Center- 
Jack Haberstroh. of Rancho Bernardo. Calif., Jan. 
13. 2007. He taught for 12 years at VCU's School 
of Mass Communications. 

Carroll Hormachea. of Richmond, Va.. June 7, 
2007- A professor of sociology, he founded the 
police-education program at Richmond Professional 
Institute, now VCU's Department of Criminal Justice. 

Wayne Johnston (BS. by/E; M.S,W.'70). of Richmond, 
Va.. Feb. 3, 2007. at age 61. He taught at the VCU 
School of Social Work and spent 31 years working 
for the Virginia Department of Social Services. 

Bruce Koplin (B.P.A, '61: M.F.A, ■63/A) . of Richmond, 
Va.. Jan. 27. 2007. at age 67- He was a professor of 
art history at VCU's School of the Arts, including 
serving as chair of the art history department for 12 
years. He also served as the director of the Anderson 

Paul D. Mrnton, Ph.D.. of Roanoke. Va., July 10. 
2007. at age 88. He served as dean of the School of 
Arts and Sciences from 1972 to 1980. He remained 
at VCU for several more years as the school's director 
of the Institute of Statistics and professor of math- 
ematical sciences. 

Dr. M. Leigh Rooke. of Richmond. Va., Feb. 17. 2007. 
at age 91. She taught in the graduate program of the 
Department of Hospital and Health Administration and 
served as director of the health care management under- 
graduate program for long-term care, before retiring 
from VCU after two decades. 

Charlotte Schrieberg (M.S.W. 44). of Richmond, Va.. 
May 10. 2007. at age 89. She was a professor in the 
School of Social Work at VCU, from which she retired 
at the age of 85- 

Elver Eugene Stickley, of Richmond. Va.. May 25, 
2007. at age 92. A retired professor of radiology, 
he also was an amateur musician who played the 

John Van de Walle, of Midlothian. Va., Dec. 2, 20o6, 
at age 63. He was a professor emeritus at VCU, and in 
2000, he earned VCU's Charles P. Ruch Award for 
Excellence in Teaching. 

Friends of VCU 

Sidney Bailey, of Basel, Switzerland, Oct. 28. 2006. 

Ronald Cain, of Richmond. Va.. Dec. 4. 2006, at age 
80. He joinedJ.C. Wheat and Co. in I954'' rising 
to executive vice president, a member of the board 
and managing director. He served two terms as vice 
president of the Richmond Jaycees and two terms as 
president of the Richmond area unit of the American 
Cancer Society. 

Leroy Goldberg, of West Palm Beach, Fla.. Aug. 13, 
2006. Formerly of Richmond. Va., he was the CEO 
of Goldberg Co. and also served as president of the 
Better Business Bureau in Richmond. 

Raymond Gordon Jr.. of Richmond. Va., Aug. 23. 
2006. He spent his career with the YMCA and was 
the director of Camp RichmondAVeyanoke, executive 
director of the central branch of YMCA and director 
of the Peninsula YMCA. 

Shirley Merhrge, of Washington. D.C.Jan. 9. 2007. 


College of Humanities and Sciences 


School of the Arts 


School of Allied Health Professions 


School of Business 


School of Dentistry 


School of Education 


School of Engineering 


L. Douglas Wilder School 

of Government and Public Affairs 


Graduate School 


VCU Life Sciences 


School of Medicine 


School of Mass Communications 


School of Nursing 


School of Pharmacy 


School of Social Work 


School of World Studies 


Associate Degree 




Bachelor of Fine Arts 


Bachelor of General Studies 


Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies 


Bachelor of Music 


Bachelor of Music Education 


Bachelor of Science 


Bachelor of Social Work 


Doctor of Dental Surgery 


Doctor of Public Administration 


Doctor of Physical Tlierapy 


Master of Arts 


Master of Accountancy 


Master of Art Education 


Master of Business Administration 


Master of Bio informatics 


Doctor of Medicine 


Master of Education 


Master of Environmental Studies 


Master of Fine Arts 


Master of Health Administration 


Master of Interdisciplinary Studies 


Master of Music 


Master of Music Education 


Master of Public Administration 


Master of Public Health 


Master of Pharmaceutical Sciences 


Master of Science 


Master of Science in Dentistry 


Master of Science in Health 



Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia 


Master of Science in Occupational 



Master of Social Work 


Master of Teaching 


Master of Taxation 


Master of Urban and Regional Planning 


Post-professional Occupational 

Therapy Doctorate 


Doctor of Pharmacy 


Doctor of Philosophy 

40 i VCU Shafer Court Connections 

Mass communications school stays 

By Erin Egan 

Remember a time before cell phones, iPods, PDAs, texting, blogs and podcasts? When 
electronic equipment was not obsolete the second you bought it? When the most advanced 
device you had to master was the electric typewriter? 

Mark Raper (B.S. '82/MC) recalls his journalism classes at Virginia Commonwealth 
University when "everything was handwritten or pecked on a typewriter," he says. 

Computers existed but they were the size of entertainment centers and definitely not por- 
table. "There was no such thing as a laptop," Raper says. 

Today, Raper is the chairman and CEO of CRT/tanaka, one of the largest independent 
public relations firms in the U.S. He can't imagine doing business with technology from the 
1980s. You have to have the mobile phone [and] the laptop to stay in constant touch with 
your clients," Raper says. "That's the way businesses run now. " 

Bonnie Davis prepares students for this high-tech world as a professor in VCU's School of 
Mass Communications. Her students are a quick studies when it comes to the latest gizmos. 
"They grew up using computers, " Davis says, "so they are really on top of accessing informa- 
tion in a timely manner. " 

Being techno savvy is no substitute for good old-fashioned reporting, however. Text mes- 
sages and e-mail have their place, but "you're going to lose a lot in e-mail conversations — facial 
expressions, gestures, eye contact, " Davis says. "Those can't be conveyed through technology."' 

There's no doubt that technology has changed the way news is presented. Its also changed 
how Davis teaches. Instead of assigning one longer print piece as a final project (as she did in 
her early teaching days), Davis' students put together a multimedia package, including print 
with a video, blog or podcast attached. 

Taking the idea of integrating communication vehicles a step further, in 2006 VCU 
launched its Ph.D. program in Media, Art, and Text. "There are so many technologies in 
our world now," says Catherine Ingrassia, Ph.D., associate dean for academic affairs. "It was 
important to start looking at the cultural significance of them. It was important to start thinking 
more broadly about the world of communications. '" 

Matt Mattox (M.S. "05/MC), a strategic planner with The Martin Agency, would agree. 
The computer programs and electronic gadgets he used in his graduate studies at VCUs 
Adcenter are the same that he uses every day on the job. '"[The technology] prepares you for 
the real world, " he says. "The tools are not going to disappear. " 

More than likely they'll continue to improve. Take the medium of broadcast journalism, 
which has exploded in the past 20 years. 

""In the early days of news we had 15-minute newscasts, '" says Aaron Gilchrist (B.S. '03/MC), 
an anchor for NBC-I2 in Richmond, Va., as well as an adjunct professor at VCU. "Now 
we have 24"hour news cycles. The technology allows new pictures and stories to be gathered 
constantly for people to consume all day." 

The equipment his VCU students use is top of the line. Even though he graduated just four 

years ago, Gilchrist remembers shooting on clunky 
tape and lugging around heavy cameras to report sto- 
ries. Not anymore. His students shoot digitally on 
small, lightweight cameras and are whizzes with the 
latest tools of the trade. "That quick learning cui've 
comes in handy, especially when the instructor needs 
an occasional tutorial. "They explain things to me 
and I'm grateful for that, " Gilchrist says. 

Advancing technoiof 

Resources available in the VCU School 
of Mass Communications continue to 
progress so that students can sharpen 
their skills and experience an expanded 
view of the world. 

[then] In the mid-1970s, the School 
of Mass Communications was just four 
years old. Students studying journalism 
used the school's high-tech television 
studio to hone their broadcasting skills. 

[now! Today, VCU mass communications 
students have a unique opportunity to see 
how other countries relay their news. The 
International Newsroom, located in the 
James Branch Cabell Librai-y. features 12 
color TV monitors with access to more 
than 60 channels from around the world. 
The newsroom includes stations such as 
Israel TV Channel I, Jordan Television 
and Thai TV Global Network. 

Erm Egan is a contributing writer for Shajer Court Connecfions. 

Fall 2007 I 41 




Mark your calendars for these Virginia Commonwealth University 
and VCU Alumni Association events. For more alumni activities, 
go to or, or visit for campus happenings. 


Oct. 12 

VCUAA Emeriti Directors Reception* 

Scott House 
(804) 828-2856 

VCUAA Legacy Event/Freshman Scholars BBQ* 

University Student Commons 
(804.) 828-2856 

Oct. 20 

Genworth Children's Advantage Classic 
featuringjames Taylor, Andre Agassi 
and Steffi Graf 

Stuart C. Siegel Center 
(804.) 828-7267 

Oct. 22-26 

Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale 

James Branch Cabell Library 
(804) 828-1105 


Nov. 9-17 

Theatre VCU - "Dracula " 

W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts 
(804) 828-6026 

Nov. 17 

The Baltimore Consort 

W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts 
(804) 828-6776 

Dec. 8 

Commencement Breakfast* 

University Student Commons 
(804) 828-2586 

Winter Commencement 

Stuart C. Siegel Center 
(804) 828-1917 


Jan. 4-17 

Alumni Campus Abroad Trip: South Africa* 

(804) 828-2586 

Jan. 18 - March 2 

"Gord Peteran: Furniture Meets its Maker" 

"Familiar Faces" 

Anderson Gallery 
(804) 828-1522 

Jan. 25-26 

VCU Dance — Miguel Gutierrez & The Powerful 

Grace Street Theater 
(804) 828-2020 


Black History Month at VCU 

Various events/locations 
(804) 828-6672 

Feb. 2 

Roberto Diaz, viola 

W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts 
(804) 828-6776 

Feb. 6 

VCUAA Board of Directors Meeting* 

University Student Commons 
(804) 828-2856 

Feb. 15-24 

Theatre VCU - "For Colored Girls Who 

Have Considered Suicide When the 

Rainbow is Enuf 

W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts 
(804) 828-6026 


March 1 

Pascal Roge, piano 

W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts 
(804) 828-6776 

March 20 

23rd Annual Brown-Lyons Lecture: 
JackSpiro, Ph.D. 

W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts 
(804) 828-1165 or (804) 828-1163 

March 27-29 

VCU Dance Now 

Grace Street Theater 
(804) 828-2020 

Experiencing Villa-Lobos 
VCU Department of Music 

Various events/locations 
(804) 828-1166 

March 28-30 

15th Annual French Film Festival 

Byrd Theatre 
(804) 827-3456 


VCU Staff Senate Walk-a-thon 
for Student Scholarships 

Location TBD 
(804) 827-0857 

April 5 

The Beaux Arts Trio 

W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts 
(804) 828-6776 

April 11-26 
"Twelfth Night" 

W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts 
(804) 828-6026 

April 13 

VCU Intercultural Festival 

University Student Commons 
(804) 828-6672 

April 25-27 
Reunion Weekend* 

Richmond Professional Institute Reunion 
African-American Alumni Council Reunion 
Various events/locations 
(804) 828-2586 


May 17 

Commencement Breakfast* 

Location TBD 
(804) 828-2856 

Spring Commencement 

Richmond Coliseum 
(804) 828-1917 

May 22 

VCUAA Board of Directors Meeting* 

University Student Commons 
(804) 828-2856 

* VCUAA events 

42 ! VCU Shafer Court Connections 

Student housing: 1970s 

Until 1968, when Rhoads Hall opened, 
students at the then-Richmond Professional Institute lived 
in either apartment buildings or former residences that were 
lemodeled for their use. VCU's first modern dorm — named 
lor Webster S. Rhoads Jr., a Richmond businessman and a 
member of the RPI Board of Visitors from 1962 until 1967 — 
initially housed only women in its 366 rooms on 18 floors. 



Virginia Commonwealth University 

VCU Alumni Relations 

924 West Franklin Street 

RO Box 843044 

Richmond, Virginia 23284-3044 

Address Service Requested 

M N I 

Non-profit Organization 

U.S. Postage Paid 

Permit No. 869 


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P-6 P7!